June 15, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The ongoing military offensive led by the Sudanese government army prevented the head of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) from conducting a visit to the rebel areas in South Kordofan, Blue Nile states, and Darfur region, said SPLM-N top negotiator Yasir Arman.
- 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)
UNOCHA in its weekly bulletin of 8 June said the AUHIP head and chief mediator Thabo Mbeki was expected to visit the southern parts of Blue Nile State and the refugee camps in South Sudan between 13 and 14 June to assess possibilities for delivering humanitarian aid to civilians in SPLM-N controlled areas.
“The NCP government sabotaged this visit which was proposed by the SPLM/N delegation at the last round of talks,” said Arman when reached by Sudan Tribune on Sunday. “The visit was supposed to inject new momentum in the peace process but Khartoum is interested in war despite their failures to achieve a military victory,” he further said.
He pointed that no date for the visit is yet agreed, adding that the civil administration in the SPLM/N controlled areas has set committees to receive Mbeki.
In statements to the government sponsored Sudan Vision newspaper on 7 June, the head of the official Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) Suleiman Abdul Rahman welcomed Mbeki’s visit Mbeki saying “the visit could take place any time he desires”.
Since last May Sudanese officials said the “Decisive Summer” operation aims to recapture the SPLM-N headquarters in Kauda and to the border areas with the South Sudan.
Arman underlined that the military campaign “failed miserably” to achieve its objectives but only allowed the militiamen of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to displace more than one hundred thousand civilians.
The government and the SPLM-N delegation were expected to meet on 25 May to resume their talks on the framework agreement proposed by the mediation. However the AUHIP did not extend an invitation to the warring parties.
“The SPLM/N is wondering why the next round of talks has not been called for and we believe calling for rounds of talks at the convenience of Khartoum is never going to achieve peace,” said the rebel top negotiator when asked about the resumption of the negotiations.
He disclosed they told the different actors that the discussions should take place as scheduled stressing “they should not be rewarded by delaying of the talks and making it at their convenience”.
Arman also called on the mediation,” the African Union and the international community to put pressure on Khartoum to stop targeting civilians in the two areas and Darfur and to stop the gross human rights violations”.
He also said they should work to persuade the National Congress Party led government to accept “a comprehensive peaceful settlement” to end war and restore democracy in Sudan.
During the last discussions organised by the mediation in Addis Ababa, the two warring parties failed again to agree on a draft framework agreement proposed by the mediation team.
The government delegation says favourable to limit the AUHIP brokered process to the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile while the SPLM-N demands to unify the two peace tracks to end conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas.
The rebels also call for a meeting to be held outside Sudan to agree on the mechanism of the national dialogue including the opposition parties. But the government says such process should not involve the international community.