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Sudan expects resumption of talks with armed groups in April

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Sudanese Presidential aide Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid speaks to the press on 6 April, 2017 (Anadolu Agency photo)
April 6, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Presidential Assistant, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid has expected the resumption of peace talks with armed groups in Darfur and the Two Areas this month, but he didn’t indicate when it would begin.

Hamid made his statement after a meeting with the head of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), Thabo Mbeki who arrived in the Sudanese capital Thursday to discuss the resumption of the two-track negotiations with the rebel groups.

The presidential aide who leads the government delegation for talks with the SPLM-N said they agreed with Mbeki on the need to pursue efforts to implement the Roadmap Agreement signed with the opposition Sudan Call forces.

He further said that negotiations on Darfur region, the South Kordofan and the Blue Nile States "may resume later in this month of April", adding they "are awaiting the results of the AUHIP contacts with the armed groups".

Last Tuesday 4 April, the SPLM-N Chairman Malik Agar announced their readiness to resume negotiations with the government on the humanitarian access to the war-affected areas. But he reiterated their demand for a humanitarian corridor through the Ethiopian border town of Asosa.

Hamid said they also agreed with Mbeki to continue his efforts to ensure the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement signed on the outstanding issues with the neighbouring South Sudan after its secession in 2011.

The visiting former South Africa’s president met with the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir and the implementation committee of the national dialogue outcome.

The presidential assistant further called on the holdout groups to consider the true interests of the Sudanese people and to join the dialogue process.

On the impact of the recent internal divisions within the SPLM-N, Hamid said the interest of peace requires to negotiate with united groups in Darfur and a united SPLM-N.

The head of government delegation for peace in Darfur Amin Hassan Omer added that the government wants to negotiate with groups that have the ability to implement what would be agreed with.

"We will not negotiate with people who are unable to implement what we will sign with them," he said.

The government and armed groups failed last August to sign a cessation of hostilities agreement and humanitarian access deal in the Two Areas and Darfur.

Former US special envoy for the two Sudans Donald Booth and the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni sought in vain to facilitate a deal.

(ST)

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