Sudan peace talks: 7 protocols signed in Juba
The Sudanese government delegation and members of the Sudan Revolutionary Front rebel alliance on Friday evening signed the Darfur track file, consisting of seven protocols, in preparation for the final signing scheduled for Monday in the presence of Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.
The signing in initials at the Crown Hotel in the South Sudan capital of Juba was attended by the South Sudanese mediation team, the Chadian and Emirati mediation delegations, and a representative of the Egyptian government. PM Hamdok is due to travel to Juba today with a high-level delegation to attend Monday’s signing ceremony.
The seven protocols that were signed are wealth sharing, power sharing, displaced people and refugees, land ownership and hawakeer ((lands traditionally used by a tribal community), compensation and rehabilitation, accountability and reconciliation, and the pastoral sector.
The five Darfur rebel movements who entered the peace talks under the umbrella of the Sudan Revolutionary Front are the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the Sudan Liberation Movement faction under the leadership of Minni Minawi (SLM-MM), the SLM-Transitional Council, the Sudan Liberation Forces Group, and the Sudanese Alliance (which includes 15 smaller rebel groups).
The head of the mediation team for Sudan’s peace negotiations and advisor to the President of the South Sudan for security affairs, Tut Galuak, said that the Darfur security arrangements file and the national issues deal would be signed on Saturday.
He invited the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement, headed by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW), to join the peace talks.
SPLM-N El Hilu
Galuak stated that the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North faction led by Abdelaziz El Hilu adheres to the Juba Declaration of Principles signed by the parties in the South Sudanese capital on September 11 last year, to achieve comprehensive peace.
On August 20, the SPLM-N El Hilu withdrew from the negotiations with the Sudanese government delegation, in protest against the chairmanship by Lt Gen Mohamed Hamadan ‘Hemeti’, who is not only Deputy President of the Sovereign Council, but also Commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The recent involvement of RSF forces in violence in South Kordofan, along with “heinous violations” committed against unarmed civilians in various parts of Sudan, have led the rebel group to withdraw. Hemeti “lacks neutrality and is not qualified to lead the negotiation delegation”, the SPLM-N said in an official complaint on August 18.
The head of the South Sudanese mediation team, Tut Galuak, announced on August 21 that Juba decided to freeze the Sudanese government-SPLM-N El Hilu negotiation track after the rebel group “surprised the mediation” with the request to intervene and call for the replacement of the Sudanese government negotiating team’s chairman.
Faction leader Abdelaziz El Hilu said recently that the transitional government was not ready to address the root causes of the Sudanese conflict, stressing that secularism remains the guaranty to defeat the political Islam.
Previously, sessions between the two parties were suspended because of the issue of secularism and separation of religion and state; a position El Hilu upholds resolutely.
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