NAIROBI, Nov 1 (AFP) — Delegations from Khartoum and Sudan’s main southern rebel group have adjourned talks aimed at clinching a comprehensive peace accord until November 26, mediators said.
High level discussions between Vice President Ali Osman Taha and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) leader John Garang broke up for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on October 16, while junior delegates stayed on in Nairobi to continue discussions until adjourning this weekend.
These lower-level talks are scheduled to resume on November 26 while Taha and Garang are due to get back to the negotiating table on December 11, according to a statement from the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, the regional body mediating the peace process.
Garang’s rebel group took up arms against Khartoum in 1983.
Since Garang and Taha first began meeting in Kenya more than two years ago, half a dozen protocols, covering issues such as power and wealth sharing, have been signed.
This phase of discussions is aimed at consolidating these deals into a permanent accord, ironing out the details of a comprehensive ceasfire, and reaching agreement on security arrangements — essentially the positioning of various forces in the wake of a settlement.
The Nairobi talks do not directly involve two other rebel groups who in February 2003 rose up in the western region of Darfur, which is currently in the throes of what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.