March 14, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) chief negotiator, Yasir Arman, has said they would seriously consider the recent decision made by the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) regarding negotiations with the Sudanese government.
- Yasir Arman, secretary general of the rebel SPLM-N (File photo Reuters)
The rebel leader expressed hope that the decision would help warring parties to reach a "just, comprehensive, and lasting peace".
The AUPSC renewed on Wednesday its confidence in the mediation team led by Thabo Mbeki to broker peace talks between Sudanese government and SPLM-N rebels on the Two Areas and asked him to reach an agreement by the end of April.
Last month the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) suspended the stalled talks on the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states and referred the matter to its mandating authority, the AUPSC, asking for further guidance.
The peace and security body in a decision released on Wednesday 12 March urged the rebel group to respond to the proposal of the panel, and underlined that Khartoum responded to the draft agreement.
Arman underscored the decision included "new items connecting issues of the Two Areas to the national issues besides calling for participation of civil society organizations and political forces in the negotiations as well as mentioning the democratic transformation".
He pointed the decision demanded the AUHIP to facilitate the constitutional process, saying Khartoum rejected the move on the lips of the government’s chief negotiator, Ibrahim Ghandour.
Arman further said the AUPSC reiterated its initial position towards the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2046, pointing the SPLM-N would submit a clear negotiating position.
"We are ready to reach an immediate agreement on a humanitarian cessation of hostilities and a comprehensive political solution away from the partial solutions which do not meet Sudanese people’s demands for just peace, democracy, and citizenship without discrimination", he said.
In a separate issue, Arman repudiated the death sentences issued against himself and the chairman of the SPLM-N, Malik Agar and said it is "politically motivated", calling for launching a solidarity campaign with all convicts in praesentia who received death penalty or life imprisonment.
On Thursday, a Sudanese court sentenced the Malik Agar, and Yasser Arman, and others to death by hanging in absentia for their involvement in events that occurred during the conflict that broke out in Blue Nile state in 2011.
Al-Tijani Hassan, lawyer for the defendants, who attended the court hearing in the capital town of Sennar state of Singa told Agence France Presse (AFP) that a total of 17 people were handed the death penalty in Thursday’s session.
Only 86 defendants appeared before the court while the trial of 23 others was conducted in absentia.
"We warn the regime against executing those sentences on political detainees even if it considered them prisoners of war because this represents a clear violation of laws and international conventions and it would only increases hostility", said Arman.
He pointed the Sudanese regime is illegitimate and its leaders are wanted for international justice, saying we are ready to appear before the judge in Singa provided that president Bashir appears before judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Bashir has been wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) since 2009 on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region.