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Sudanese government says ready for talks on permanent ceasefire in Darfur and Two Areas

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August 16, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government on Tuesday has expressed readiness to resume talks on a permanent ceasefire in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile saying the recent round of talks with rebel groups has not collapsed but was adjourned.

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Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed al-Balal Osman speaks during a press conference in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on June 9, 2013. ( Photo AFP/ASHRAF SHAZLY)

A four-day round of talks between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) on the Two Areas on Sunday has stalled over humanitarian access.

Also, the Sudanese government and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) led by Minni Minnawi failed to sign a cessation of hostilities in Darfur after the parties disagreed on how to determine the sites of the rebel fighters.

Speaking in a media forum at the semi-official National Center for Media Production (NCMP) Tuesday, member of the government negotiating team Bishara Guma’a Aru expected that talks would be resumed within two weeks, saying the recent round “didn’t collapse but was suspended”.

He said they were hoping to reach an agreement during this round of talks but the SPLM-N stuck to its position on from where the humanitarian relief should be transported to the affected areas.

For his part, Minister of Information and government spokesperson Ahmed Bilal Osman expressed his government’s readiness to resume negotiations “provided that talks should only be confined to reaching a permanent ceasefire and that armed movements lay down their arms”.

He told the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) on Tuesday that rebel groups only seek to gain money, pointing they were hired out by many as mercenaries in the conflicts in Libya and South Sudan.

“The rebel movements didn’t accept peace because they deal with war as business” he said.

He added that the Secretary General of the SPLM-N Yassir Arman is dreaming of things that are unachievable in Sudan particularly his call for dissolving the army, police and the security services, saying he knows well that no government would accept such a thing.

Osman renewed Sudanese army’s readiness to repulse any attacks against the country, saying the army wouldn’t be dissolved and the will of the Sudanese people wouldn’t be broken by any impossible conditions from the rebels.

The minister further stressed that national dialogue wouldn’t wait for a group of people whose main objective is to hold arms and wage war, demanding the international community to press the armed movements to achieve peace.

Meanwhile, the political rapporteur of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) Ahmed Karmano, who spoke at the NCMP forum, has accused the SPLM-N of lack of seriousness to achieve peace.

He said that humanitarian relief must be transported from inside Sudan in order to preserve health of the residents and maintain sovereignty of the state.

For his part, the Deputy Secretary General of the Popular Congress Party (PCP) Ali al-Hag Mohamed said talks between the government and the SPLM-N has collapsed due to lack of trust between the two sides.

Al-Hag, who spoke in the same forum, demanded the parties to the negotiating party to lay out their concerns, warning the government against the humanitarian access issue.

He said the food wouldn’t only go to the residents but to the rebel army, proposing that the government should have monitors at the airports to observe the delivery of the humanitarian relief.

Also, in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday, the opposition alliance of the Future Forces of Change (FFC) has urged the negotiating parties to reach an agreement on the security arrangements and humanitarian access in order to pave the way for the start of the political process.

It stressed that the contentious points between the parties could be overcome in the next round of talks.

(ST)

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