April 27, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – US special envoy for the two Sudans and the leader of the opposition Reform Now Party (RNP) were at the venue of stalled peace talks on Saturday between the government and the rebels of Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.
In an attempt to converge the view of the two parties, Donald Booth met with the head of the Sudanese government delegation and presidential aide Ibrahim Ghandour. But no statement was released after the meeting.
RNP leader Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Attabani, who was also at the venue at the invitation of the head of the African Union (AU) mediation team, Thabo Mbeki, met with Ghandour and Yasir Arman, the head of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) .
In a statement issued following the meetings, Attabani praised the efforts exerted by Mbeki, stressing that “ending war and achieving peace are the real cure for the problems of Sudan”.
He said the two parties are willing to overcome obstacles despite their existing differences.
STRUGGLING FOR FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT
Since the resumption of talks on 22 April, the two negotiating parties have failed to finalise a framework agreement for talks based on a draft proposed by AU mediators on 18 February.
The mediation team has refused a demand by the SPLM-N to include Darfur, stressing that the process should only involve negotiations on conflict in the Two Areas.
In return, the SPLM-N rejected the draft framework agreement, saying the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2046 and other resolutions issued by the AU state that negotiations between the two sides must be based on a framework agreement signed on 28 June 2011, which Khartoum denounced on 3 July of the same year.
Sources close to the talks in Addis Ababa told Sudan Tribune that Mbeki has proposed that the 28 June agreement remain valid for the negotiations of political and security matters and will demand that both sides agree on the reference points for discussions pertaining to humanitarian assistance and national dialogue.
The 28 June agreement provides that the SPLM-N and Sudan’s ruling National Congress Paty (NCP) should jointly participate in the democratic transition process.