March 10, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Sudan People Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) has called on the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUSPC) to include the 28 June agreement in a new decision it is preparing to issue on the resolution of armed conflicts in Sudan.
- SPLM-N secretary-general and chief negotiator speaks at the opening session of peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 13 February 2014 (Photo: AUHIP)
The AUPSC was briefed on Monday by the head of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), Thabo Mbeki, on his decision to suspend peace talks between the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N, aimed at ending the three-year conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
In a statement released on 2 March, the panel welcomed consultations inside the country to launch a national dialogue conference, stressing “the need to urgently find a peaceful settlement to the conflict”, calling for the Two Areas to be integrated into the national dialogue.
“We are asking your August council to reaffirm the previous resolutions of the [AU]PSC on the SPLM-North and the Two Areas, as well as the UNSC 2046 [and] the 28 June frame work agreement,” read a note seen by Sudan Tribune, which was handed over by the rebel group to the AUSPC and Western delegations in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
The rebel group further suggested the formation of a four-member panel to facilitate the national constitutional conference “with a clear roadmap and agreeable procedures in a conducive atmosphere and confidence building measures agreed by the stakeholders”.
The facilitating panel includes the AUHIP, the Darfur joint mediator, UN special envoy for the Sudans and the Intergovermental Authority on Development (IGAD).
The AUPSC is expected to release a decision calling for a comprehensive process for peace in Sudan, including the rebels in the Two Areas and Darfur region, in the upcoming hours.
The African body is also expected to refer its decision to the UN Security Council (UNSC) for endorsement.
On 7 March, the head of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, met with the leaders of the Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minawi (SLM-MM), as well as Gibril Ibrahim of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and El-Tom Hajo, vice-president of Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF).
Following the meeting, the rebels said that Zuma had expressed the AU’s support for their calls for one forum to negotiate a comprehensive solution for armed conflicts in Sudan and a national conference to prepare a new constitution.
The three rebel leaders, who are also present in Addis Ababa, met with the AUHIP on Monday to explain their point of view on the inclusive process to end conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas.
Presidential assistant and chief negotiator Ibrahim Ghandour led the Sudanese government delegation to the AUPSC meeting.
Khartoum, which rejects the involvement of the AU and the international community in the national dialogue process, refused to accept the 28 June framework agreement during the recent round of talks with the SPLM-N.
The deal, which was denounced by Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, establishes a political partnership between the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and the SPLM-N. Under the proposed agreement, the two parties would work together to achieve democratic transition and resolve armed conflicts in other regions.