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Sudan’s ruling party expects “breakthrough” in Two Areas talks

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January 24, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has expected a breakthrough in the upcoming round of the Two Areas talks with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/N (SPLM-N al-Hilu) led by Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu.

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Mbeki speaks to participants at the inaugral session of Strategic Consultations Meeting in Addis Ababa on 18 March 2016 (AUHIP Photo)

The Sudanese army has been fighting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, also known as the Two Areas since 2011.

The SPLM-N has split into two factions: one led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu and the other led by Malik Agar. The rift emerged last year after al-Hilu accused Agar and the then secretary general Yasser Arman of refusing to back his demand for the Nuba Mountains self-determination.

Al-Hilu’s faction has won the support of the Movement’s major military leadership.

Earlier this month, the African mediation extended an invitation to the Sudanese government and SPLM-N al-Hilu to resume the Two Areas talks from I to 2 February in Addis Ababa.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) has quoted the NCP deputy chairman of political sector Abdallah Safi al-Nour as saying the unilateral ceasefire is a fundamental pillar to reaching a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access deal.

In the same context, the NCP political secretary Obied Allah Mohamed has expressed optimism over the success of the next round of the Two Areas talks in February.

“I’m optimistic that the [upcoming] negotiations round would achieve a positive result in regard to the peace process,” he said

He pointed out that the postponement of the peace talks for a long period of time has contributed to exacerbating the suffering of the residents of the Two Areas.

Talks between the government and the SPLM-N for a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access are stalled since August 2016.

Both, Sudan and the SPLM-N al-Hilu have declared a unilateral cessation of hostilities in the war zones.

(ST)

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