December 7, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The Carter Center Wednesday announced that a delegation of experts has started meetings in Khartoum with the Sudanese stakeholders to explore ways to bring peace in Sudan.
The African Union with the support of German government and Troika countries seeks since several years to end the armed conflicts in Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. However since last August the peace talks are deadlocked over cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access deals.
"The meetings are not part of the official mediation that the African Union is conducting, but rather supplemental, exploratory gatherings designed to begin to identify points of common ground among all key Sudanese parties," said a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.
The five-member delegation of experts met on Wednesday with several government officials at the Sudanese presidency, , the National Assembly, the Sudan Armed Forces, the National Intelligence Service, the National Dialogue, and others, the statement said.
On Thursday and Friday, the visiting team will meet with "representatives of Sudanese groups advocating for the interests of women, youth, traditional communities, and the poor. It will also meet with armed and political opposition actors".
"The Center is prepared to meet with all Sudanese stakeholders," further stressed the statement.
The delegation of experts includes Roelf Petrus Meyer former South African minister who negotiated the end of Apartheid regime with the National Congress Party, Monica McWilliams an Irish politician and a delegate to Ireland’s Multi-Party Peace Negotiations, Amine Ghali of Tunisia, former member of a national body on transitional justice after the Tunisian revolution, Miriam Coronel Ferrer of the Philippines, former government chief negotiator with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Karim Thabetn, a former UN development programme in his country the Yemen.
The independent American center, which had long presence in Sudan and contributed to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, is one the rare Western non-governmental organization that the Sudanese government was keen to work with and its founder former U.S. President Jimmy Carter had been received at different times by President Omer al-Bashir.
“The Carter Center has a long history in Sudan and is invested in its success,” said Jordan Ryan, vice president of the Center’s peace programs and a participant in the meetings. “We want to do whatever we can to help bring peace to its people, and we think facilitating meetings like this is a small way we can contribute to the peace process."
"This week’s meetings are exploratory, but we hope they will be the first in a series,” he pointed.