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Sudan says agreement reached with Darfur rebels on major issues

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Presidential Assistant and Top Negotiator Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid talks to the press in Khartoum on 15 August 2016 (ST Photo)
January 4, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government Wednesday disclosed it has agreed with two Darfur rebel movements on major issues at informal meetings held recently expressing hope to reach final agreement during the coming rounds of talks.

The Sudanese army and its allied militias have been fighting a number of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.

Last August, direct peace talks in Addis Ababa, between Sudanese government and two Darfur groups, the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) under the auspices of the African Union (AU) have collapsed after rebels throw out government requests to disclose fighters’ locations.

Since last year, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni facilitated informal meetings in Kampala and Addis Ababa between the Sudanese government, the SLM-MM and JEM leaders.

Following his meeting with the UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom on Wednesday, Sudanese presidential aide Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid said the “government, in informal meetings held earlier, has reached an agreement with Darfur rebels on the major issues and we hope to settle the issue completely in the coming rounds of talks”.

He pointed that Khartoum has agreed to all proposal contained in the Roadmap Agreement and the arrangements agreed upon with the US Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth, stressing the Roadmap must be the basis for any peace process.

The Sudanese presidential assistant further said they provided some proposals to the rebels and waiting for their response, calling on the opposition to not use “temporary tactics” which only increase the suffering of the people.

He added that he discussed with Haysom the situation in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile as well as Khartoum’s relation with Juba.

Hamid pointed that the “UN envoy was now sure of the government’s seriousness in its quest for peace”, expecting the regional and international community to put pressure on the armed opposition to achieve peace.

“However, we hope the Sudanese don’t resort to external pressures to bring security and stability to the Sudanese citizen,” he said.

It is noteworthy that South Kordofan and neighbouring Blue Nile states, also known as the “Two Areas” have been the scene of violent conflict between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North rebels and Sudanese army since 2011.

The AU has been seeking to end the conflict for several years. However since last August the peace talks are deadlocked over cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access deals.

(ST)

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