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US special envoy vows to convince Sudanese rebels to sign cessation of hostilities deal

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August 30, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth said his country seeks to achieve peace in Sudan vowing to continue efforts to convince rebels to sign ceasefire agreement with the Sudanese government.

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U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Donald Boorth is received by Blue Nile State Governor Hussein Yassin at Ed Damazin Airport on 29 August, 2016 (ST Photo)

Booth on Tuesday discussed with presidential assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid who also heads government delegation to the talks on the Two Areas the outcome of the recent round of talks and why it was suspended.

In press statements following the meeting, Hamid said the discussions come within the framework of the ongoing consultations between Khartoum and Washington to achieve permanent peace in Darfur and the Two Areas.

“Peace has become the demand of the international community, regional community and the Sudanese people … if the armed movements are ready [for peace], the opportunity is still available to sign a cessation of hostilities that leads to crucial arrangements and [allows rebels] to join the national dialogue process” he said.

He pointed that the statement issued by the African Union has held the armed movements responsible for the failure to sign the cessation of hostilities agreement, saying Washington should play a role to convince rebels to sign the cessation of hostilities and implement the Roadmap Agreement.

The Sudanese official expected that international moves would push for the resumption of negotiations, saying they hope that rebels wouldn’t take too long to sign the cessation of hostilities.

For his part, Booth said he discussed with Hamid ways to push forward peace talks, underscoring his country’s keenness to achieve peace in Sudan.

He pointed that the success of the talks through fruitful negotiations and national dialogue is crucial in order to achieve permanent agreement, saying Washington seeks to urge all parties who wish to achieve peace to join the national dialogue.

The American envoy further said the negotiating parties were close to seal a deal during the recent round of talks, pointing that they have agreed on most of the issues.

He vowed to continue his efforts to convince the rebels to sign the cessation of hostilities with the government in order to pave the road for a lasting peace and stability in the country.

Earlier in August, the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) suspended peace talks on Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states after the parties failed to agree on security arrangements and humanitarian access.

Several international, regional and local parties seek to resume talks as soon as possible in order to agree on the cessation of hostilities paving the road for a comprehensive settlement to end the war.

The Sudanese army has been fighting Sudan People’s Libration Movement/North (SPLM-N) rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan since 2011 and a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.

MEETING DIALOGUE SECRETARIAT

Meanwhile, the secretary general of the government-led national dialogue Hashim Ali Salim has briefed Booth on the various phases of the dialogue and efforts to convince the holdout opposition to join the process.

Salim told reporters following the meeting that he asked the American envoy to convince the rebel groups to reach a cessation of hostilities agreement with the government, saying the latter promised to take steps to that effect. 

(ST)

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