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Sudan's mainstream SLM 'not interested' in negotiations with current govt

April 30 - 2021 JUBA / KHARTOUM
Abdelwahid El Nur in Paris, where he lives (RD - file photo)
Abdelwahid El Nur in Paris, where he lives (RD - file photo)

The mainstream Sudan Liberation Movement under the leadership of Abdelwahid El Nur (SLM-AW) reaffirmed in a statement issued yesterday that it is not interested in negotiating with the current government and has never met with the South Sudanese mediation team . Instead, it is preparing arrangements for an internal Sudanese dialogue.

The official spokesman for the movement, Abdelrahman El Nayer, reported that the SLM-AW is now working to complete its internal arrangements and consultations with its allies in order to form the initiative promised to the Sudanese people.

The statement clarified that the initiative, the details of which will be announced later by the leadership of the movement, is not a negotiation with the transitional government but rather an ‘internal dialogue’ between all Sudanese within Sudan.

It also clarified that this initiative has nothing to do with the Juba platform and its paths or southern mediation. Earlier this year, the SLM-AW also denied claims that it would join peace negotiations with the government.

According to the SLM-AW, only a just, comprehensive, and sustainable peace in Sudan that addresses the roots of the historical crisis can lead to real change and achieve the goals of the December revolution. This peace is the strategic goal of the movement, and it seeks to achieve it preferably today rather than tomorrow.

El Nayer also referred to the visit of Abdelwahid El Nur to Juba in March and his meeting with President Salva Kiir. El Nur told Kiir about his ideas on the best way to reach peace in Sudan; his plan to establish a Sudanese-Sudanese dialogue within the country wherein all political, civil, military, and government parties participate, except those affiliated with the previous regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir.

The SLM-AW will not negotiate with the government through the old methodology “that has proven its failure to solve the national crisis”.

The rebel leader did not join the peace negotiations between Khartoum and most rebel groups allied in the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF). These negotiations started in September 2019 and were concluded with the signing of the comprehensive Juba Peace Agreement on October 3.

For years, El Nur adhered to his position that the SLM-AW will only join peace negotiations after security and stability have been realised in Sudan’s conflict-torn western region.

Peace negotiations

The President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, affirmed the government's commitment to the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement and considered it “the basic pillar of the country's security and stability”.

The head of the South Sudanese mediation team, Tut Galuak, announced the start of the first round of negotiations between the government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdelaziz El Hilu (SPLM-N El Hilu) on May 24. Previously the negotiations were set to start on April 25.

El Hilu withdrew from the previous Juba peace talks in August in protest of the chairmanship of the government delegation by Deputy Chairman of the Sovereign Council Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia. The rebels accuse the RSF forces of committing “heinous crimes” against civilians in various parts of Sudan.

Galuak said that the meeting with El Burhan also touched on the technical obstacles facing the process of transporting South Sudanese oil through Sudan to the Red Sea ports.

During his meeting with the South Sudanese mediation delegation at the Republican Palace in Khartoum yesterday, El Burhan said that all the security committees are now ready to start the operations of gathering forces in the military garrisons in Darfur and the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile state).

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