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Khartoum says talks with SPLM-N “long overdue”

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April 8, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese government has renewed its commitment to the African Union brokered process to end the nearly three year conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, pointing that the resumption of talks has been too delayed.

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Sudanese presidential assistant Ibrahim Ghandour (Ashorooq TV)

On 12 March, the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU PSC) reiterated its confidence in the mediation team of African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) and asked them to reach a peace agreement by 30 April.

Previously, the AUHIP head Thabo Mbeki suspended the talks and asked the AUPSC for further guidance saying his draft framework agreement was not accepted by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

In a meeting at the Sudanese presidency on Tuesday with Abdoul Mohamed, a member of the AUHIP secretariat, presidential assistant Ibrahim Ghandour who chairs the government negotiating delegation noted that the resumption of peace talks “is long overdue”, reported to the official news agency SUNA.

Ghandour stressed the government’s readiness to resume the talks however he pointed out that “the AUHIP Secretariat’s delay in setting a date for more than three weeks has made the time factor a pressing one”.

The Sudanese presidential assistant did not mention the topic of his meeting with the AUHIP official, but informed sources in Khartoum said the meeting discussed the date of the next round of talks.

The SPLM-N refuses to negotiate a separate peace agreement for the conflict of the Two Areas and proposes a comprehensive process that Khartoum rejects.

(ST)

African Union asks Mbeki to finalise peace deal over Sudan’s Two Areas by 30 April

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