May 22, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese presidential assistant and government chief negotiator Ibrahim Ghandour said Thursday they did not receive the date of the upcoming round of talks with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) but reiterated their readiness to negotiate with the rebels.
- The head of Sudanese government delegation, Ibrahim Ghandour (L), holds a one-on-one meeting with the SPLM-N’s chief negotiator, Yasir Arman, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, before the resumption of peace talks on 22 April 2014 (Photo courtesy of the Sudanese government delegation)
The two parties failed last April to agree on a draft framework agreement proposed by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) calling to negotiate a peace deal to end the three-year conflict in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
In statements released after a meeting with the president Omer al-Bashir, Ghandour said that the next meeting is scheduled for 25 May but they did not yet receive the official notification from the mediation team led by Thabo Mbeki.
He further renewed the commitment of his government to the process saying they will travel to the venue of the peace talks in Addis Ababa once the invitation is extended by the mediation.
The two parties disagree over the inclusion of Darfur rebel groups in the talks, as the SPLM-N demands to unify the talks to end the conflict in the Two Areas with the Doha process for peace in Darfur.
Khartoum, which accepted the proposed framework, rejects the SPLM-N demand while the AUHIP says its mandate is limited to the two southern Sudanese states.
The SPLM-N secretary general and head of its negotiating delegation, Yasir Arman expressed their commitment to the UN Security Council resolution 2046 and AU Peace and Security Commission decisions on this respect, adding they will not boycott the peace process even if they reject unilateral negotiations with the government.
The resolution 2046 “is a recognition (…) and an international victory for our cause. Our refusal to negotiate will help the regime to get out of its predicament, and allow it to tell the international community that the only solution is to follow the path of war,” said Arman in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Thursday.
He added that venue of the talks allow them to prove Khartoum’s unwillingness to end war and to embark on the path of peace.