July 31, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - The head of the Sudanese negotiating team with the rebel SPLM-North said talks for peace in the Tow Areas will not resume as far as the disengagement with the South Sudan is not effective.
Last April, the African Union mediation team managed to organize a first meeting between the two sides since 2011 in order to negotiate a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan state.
However the talks wrapped up without any progress as the two parties disagree even on the agenda of the talks. The AU Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council say the talks should take place in line with a framework agreement reached in June 2011. But the government denounced it in July of the same year.
After what, the SPLM-N said they want a humanitarian agreement allowing aid workers to reach the needy civilian in the areas they control. They also propose to hold comprehensive process to discuss the conflict in the Two Areas and Darfur alike, besides the new constitution.
But Khartoum rejects such demand saying political agreement should be signed and the humanitarian situation will improve accordingly. Regarding the talks, the Sudanese government stresses that negotiations should only deal with the implementation of the outstanding issues in a protocol dedicated to South Kordofan and Blue Nile included the CPA of 2005.
Ibrahim Gandour on Wednesday told the government media service SMC that the mediation did not yet propose any date to meet the SPLM- N. He further stressed that there is no trend to hold a new round of talks unless the disengagement of the rebel group with The South Sudan is implemented.
"The stated position of the government is to not engage in any new round of talks with the rebels (for the time being)", Gandour said.
He added they demand that Juba first expel Darfur rebel groups and the SPLM-N from the South Sudan, pointing out that they want talks that can lead to achieve sustainable peace in Sudan.
On Wednesday, a joint security committee from the two countries agreed to end immediately support to rebel groups and formed a joint operational team to verify the presence of rebels in both sides.
Earlier this month the former South Sudanese vice-president Riek Machar agreed with his Sudanese counterpart that Juba can facilitate the talks between the SPLM-N and Khartoum in order to reach a peace agreement.
The SPLM-N leadership including its chairman Malik Agar, his deputy Abdel Aziz El-Hilu and secretary-general Yasir Arman met on Monday with the African Union chief mediator Thabo Mbeki to discuss the peace process.
However, Mbeki did not make any comment on a possible resumption of the talks during the upcoming period.