Sudan peace talks continue
The Sudanese peace talks between the government and rebel movements resumed yesterday. Mediated by South Sudan and via video conferencing, both parties spoke about security arrangements in Darfur.
At a press conference yesterday, Defence Minister Maj Gen Yasin Ibrahim welcomed the progress made in the Darfur security arrangements file.
He lauded the efforts of the South Sudan mediation team, and thanked the leaders of the armed movements for their understanding and their willingness to reach a comprehensive peace in the shortest time possible.
Mohamed El Taayshi, member of the Sovereign Council and spokesman for the government delegation at the peace negotiations, announced that an agreement was reached on all issues related to power-sharing.
El Taayshi further said that proposals on government participation at various levels will be submitted and discussed soon.
Today’s session will be devoted to reviewing all issues agreed upon yesterday, including environment, education, the National Revenue Fund, the allocation of resources, racism, and transitional justice.
Next week, the negotiation delegations will discuss the matrix for the implementation of the peace accords. This matrix will include timetables.
On Sunday, the Sudanese government and the armed rebel movements reached an agreement on a population census and general elections.
The first round of peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance and, separately, with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North faction led by Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu) in South Kordofan and part of Blue Nile state, started in October last year.
The SRF was formed in November 2011 by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) that was fighting Khartoum in South Kordofan and Blue Nile state, and the three main Darfuri rebel groups: The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW), and the breakaway SLM faction headed by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM).
They declared that they would overthrow the regime of former President Omar Al Bashir by “all available means”.
In the following years, the United Popular Front coalition of eastern Sudanese factions and the National Umma Party’s faction led by Nasreldin El Hadi joined the alliance.
In March 2017, the SPLM-N split into two factions, when Nuba rebel leader Abdelaziz El Hilu resigned. The faction headed by Malik Agar is stationed in Blue Nile state, and is still part of the SRF. The SPLM-N El Hilu continued fighting the government of Al Bashir from the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, and separately joined the peace talks in Juba.
Until May, the Sudan Liberation Movement faction headed by Minni Minawi participated in the peace talks as part of the SRF. The SLM-AW was allegedly regarded with suspicion in the SRF. The SLM-MM officially withdrew from the rebel alliance in mid-May.
Minawi then formed a new rebel alliance under the same name ‘Sudan Revolutionary Front’. He claimed that the mainstream SRF ignored his demands for structural reform within the alliance.
His movement did not take part in the negotiations between Khartoum and the mainstream SRF, present in the South Sudanese capital Juba, earlier this month, because the negotiations took place via videoconferencing.
The SPLM-N faction of Abdelaziz El Hilu and the Sudanese government reached a stalemate at the end of December, as the rebel faction adheres to its long-standing position with regard to self-determination and a secular state, while the government does not seem inclined to cancel the Sharia (Islamic law), imposed by the regime of Jaafar Nimeiri in September 1983.
The talks resumed in mid-January, but no progress was reported.
In a statement dated May 28, the SPLM-N El Hilu denied rumours that they withdrew from the peace negotiations. “These are baseless allegations,” Amar Deldoum, the movement’s chief negotiator said.
“We deposited our position paper on State and Religion to the South Sudanese mediation team on 26 February 2020, and received no response from the government up to this moment,” the statement reads.
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