Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok arrived with a government delegation in Juba, capital of South Sudan, yesterday, to attend the signing in initials of the comprehensive peace agreement with the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance today.
Reaching the agreement constitutes “a moment of optimism for what we have achieved together for our displaced people and victims of the civil wars in Sudan, who deserve our utmost efforts,” he commented on his Twitter account after leaving for Juba.
The PM was accompanied by Minister of Cabinet Affairs Omar Manis, Minister of Justice Nasreldin Abdelbari, acting Minister of Finance Heba Mohamed, Minister of Energy and Mining Kheiri Abdelrahman, Minister of Information and Culture Feisal Mohamed Saleh, and the head of the General Intelligence Service, Lt Gen Jamal Abdelmajeed.
After meeting with his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir, PM Hamdok told reporters that the Sudanese government will further cooperate with the South Sudanese mediation team to reach agreements on the remaining issues on the agenda.
He described his talks with President Kiir as fruitful. He said they discussed many issues, in particular the signing of the Sudanese peace deal files today, which he considers as the first phase of peace building.
Tut Galuak, Security advisor to President Kiir and head of the mediation team, announced that a high-ranking delegation from Chad will attend the signing ceremony as well. At a press conference yesterday, he said the preparations for the signing ceremony between Khartoum and the SRF* leaders have been concluded.
What remains is the file of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North faction led by Abdelaziz El Hilu**, he stated. El Hilu’s team is still present in the South Sudanese capital, adhering to the Juba Declaration of Principles signed by the parties on September 11 last year, to achieve comprehensive peace.
Yesterday evening, Hamdok proposed in a meeting with the SRF leadership to work out a matrix for the implementation of the peace agreement. He suggested that the technical committees working on the implementation of the agreement travel to Khartoum to form a delegation chaired by the SRF.
The rebel leaders said they will discuss the matter, but confirmed that they will return to Sudan “at the earliest opportunity”. They also said they want to cooperate with the Sudanese government to implement the agreement.
Hamdok separately met with the leadership of the Sudan Liberation Movement headed by Minni Minawi.
Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Chairman of the Sovereign Council, arrived in Juba this morning to participate in the signing in initials of the Sudanese Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
* The Sudan Revolutionary Front consists of SPLM-N under the leadership of Malik Agar in parts of the Blue Nile state, and five Darfur rebel movements, namely 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 mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement, headed by Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW), says they will only join peace talks after stability and security have been restored in Darfur.
** The SPLM-N El Hilu broke with the SPLM-N leadership in 2017, and entered the peace talks in Juba separately. Yet, the talks were suspended several times because the group adheres to its position concerning a secular Sudan. On August 18, they withdrew from the talks in protest against attacks by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Nuba people in South Kordofan and because RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ is the chairman of the government negotiating delegation.
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