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Difficult beginning for peace talks between govt and SPLM-N delegations

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Sudan Call leaders sign the Roadmap Agreement paving the way for talks with the government on cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access on 8 August 2016 (ST Photo)

August 10, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) - The Sudanese government and SPLM-N negotiating teams Wednesday formed a small group to determine the priorities that the parties have to start with, in their discussions on the truce and the humanitarian access.

Following the signing of the Roadmap Agreement by the opposition groups on August 8, the mediation invited the government and the SPLM-N to discuss issues related to the cessation of hostilities and the humanitarian access.

However, the two sides failed to determine the priorities of their agenda, as the government says the cessation of hostilities should lead to the security arrangements including a permanent cease fire agreement while the SPLM-N points to the humanitarian purpose of the truce.

Sudan Tribune learnt that in Wednesday meeting the SPLM-N stuck to prioritized the humanitarian access stressing pointing that this what the te parties had agreed on during the past round of talks.

The government delegation on the other hand, says it does not reject the draft framework agreed during the previous rounds but the Roadmap Agreement provides three items for the agenda of the peace talks including the national dialogue and this must be taken into consideration.

In order to facilitate a compromise between the two parties, the mediation, however, proposed to form a small committee including SPLA-N general Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Gagod Mukwar who is also the deputy chief negotiator and Sudanese army Chief of Staff Emad al-Din Adawi.

During the past rounds of talks the government kept calling to focus on the political solution arguing it would lead to a final settlement. While the SPLM-N says a lasting peace agreement may take time and calls to prioritize the civilians in the war affected zone.

DARFUR TALKS

In a related development, the head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Thabo Mbeki met on Wednesday with the leader of the rebel groups in Darfur region Gibril Ibrahim of the Justice and Equality Movement and Minni Minnawi of the Sudan Liberation Movement.

The meeting discussed the resumption of talks on the cessation of hostilities and the agenda of peace talks with the government.

The government and the delegations of the two groups are expected to start talks on Thursday.

The AUHIP chief is expected to call within three week for a meeting between the opposition groups, the government and the national dialogue coordination committee to discuss the procedural matters and confidence building measures before to start a national constitutional dialogue process in Khartoum.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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