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Sudan’s peace talks to resume next September: government

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Presidential Assistant and Top Negotiator Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid talks to the press in Khartoum on 15 August 2016 (ST Photo)
August 20, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Talks between the government and the armed groups over cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access agreements in Sudan’s Two Areas and Darfur will resume next September, said the Sudanese government on Saturday.

Last Sunday the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) suspended sine die the two tracks for the humanitarian truce after the failure of the parties to strike a deal over the two matters. from 9 to 14 August.

However, Presidential Assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid who heads the negotiating team for the talks with the SPLM-N said on Saturday that the African Union decided the resumption of the peace talks within two weeks without further details.

Hamid who was addressing a briefing for local leaders from the Blue Nile and South Kordofan on the outcome of the last round of talks, further criticized the SPLM-N saying they only meant to obstruct because the "humanitarian assistance is not a valid reason to boycott the national dialogue process".

Hamid was referring to the SPLM-N demand to bring 20% percent of the humanitarian assistance to the affected areas directly from Ethiopia. The Sudanese delegation rejected the demand insisting all the aid should come via the government controlled areas.

The cessation of hostilities and the humanitarian assistance are part of the confidence building conditions before the participation of the armed and political opposition groups in the national dialogue inside Sudan to discuss constitutional reforms.

Hamid further said civilians in the Two Areas have suffered from war and related violence and it is time to end the armed conflict. He called on the SPLM-N to listen to the voice of reason and to sign a lasting peace agreement.

Opposition sources confirmed the resumption of the peace talks next month, adding that it may take place in mid-September because the Sudan Call groups have to meet before in Addis Ababa to coordinate positions.

On Monday; Hamid will hold another meeting with the leaders of political groups participating in the government sponsored national dialogue in Khartoum to brief them on the last round of talks with the holdout groups.

On 8 August, Sudanese Revolutionary factions and the National Umma Party signed the Roadmap Agreement, five months after its endorsement by the government.

In a statement issued last week, the mediation said an agreement on the Two Areas is only impeded by the difference over the humanitarian access. However it pointed to several obstacles preventing the signing of a deal on Darfur.

(ST)

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