Sudan armed movements: Juba Declaration is a major step forward
Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) chairman El Hadi Idris described the signing of the Juba Declaration of Principles on Wednesday, which makes negotiations between the armed movements and the transitional Sudanese government possible, as a major achievement and a big step in the right direction. “It solved major issues, especially procedural ones”, he told Radio Dabanga in an interview.
Idris announced the formation of committees to implement confidence-building measures as stipulated in the Juba Declaration. He also announced the formation of a committee to prepare arrangements for the upcoming negotiations with the Sudanese government.
In the interview, Idris pointed out that the parties in Juba agreed to postpone the formation of a Legislative Council and the appointment of governors of states until a just and comprehensive peace agreement has been reached.
He also stressed the need to involve all parties in East and North Darfur into the negotiations.
The rebel leader announced that the SRF, the Sudanese government and the South Sudanese government will start a major diplomatic campaign the coming days in order to involve all neighbouring countries, the Gulf states, and other Arab countries in the negotiation process. Their involvement, pledges, and commitment will be especially important when a peace agreement has been reached and needs to be implemented on the ground.
No agreement has been reached on the venue where the peace negotiations will take place next month. "We need an agreement on where the negotiating platform and mediation will be", Idris told Radio Dabanga.
Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North led by Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu) and the Sudanese government agreed to start negotiations in Juba on October 14 under the auspices of the government of South Sudan.
Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdouk held separate meetings in Juba on Thursday with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front and the SPLM-N El Hilu after signing the Juba Declaration. The South Sudan mediator Tut Galwak was present as well.
Speaking to reporters at Juba airport on arrival on Thursday, Hamdouk said he had kept his promise to make his first foreign trip to South Sudan. He stressed that he aspires strong and developed strategic relations with South Sudan in the interest of the peoples of both countries.
Release of prisoners
The Blue Nile state authorities released 19 SPLM-N prisoners who were arrested in 2011. Speaking at a ceremony marking the release of the prisoners earlier this week, Blue Nile state governor Yasin Ibrahim said that the 19 detainees were all the armed movement fighters that were imprisoned in the state. He also stressed the importance of peace for Blue Nile state.
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