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Sudan expects Two Areas talks to resume in three months

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October 2, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government on Tuesday has renewed its commitment to implement the Roadmap Agreement expecting the Two Areas talks with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) to resume within three months.

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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 government and the opposition Sudan Call alliance including the political forces and the armed movements signed in March and August 2016 the Roadmap agreement brokered by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) including several steps towards their participation in a national constitutional process inside Sudan.

However, the parties failed to sign a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian agreements that are seen crucial before to move forward in the roadmap implementation process.

Following the failure of talks for a ceasefire agreement in August 2016, the government held its national dialogue conference without the opposition groups and formed a national consensus government.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) Tuesday has quoted the Minister of Information and government spokesperson Bishara Guma’a Aror as saying peace has become a reality on the ground in the Two Areas and is lacking only the signing of an agreement between the government and the SPLM-N.

He pointed out that no military clashes have occurred between the government and the SPLM-N during the past two years, saying the two sides have adhered to the unilateral cessation of hostilities.

Aror called on holdout groups to join the peace process, stressing his government’s seriousness and commitment to achieve sustainable peace, security and stability in the Two Areas and the country in general.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, also known as the Two Areas since 2011 and a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.

The talks with the SPLM-N groups to end the conflict in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states are stalled as the African mediators failed to bring the parties to sign a permanent ceasefire and to engage talks on the political issues.

Following the spilt of the SPLM-N in two factions, the mediation sought to hold peace talks between the group of Abdel Aziz al-Hilu and the government in vain.

For the other faction led by Malik Agar, the mediation deals with it within the framework of the Sudan Call opposition umbrella which includes armed groups from Darfur region and political parties.

Also, this process is impeded by the failure to reach a framework agreement for talks on Darfur conflict and the revitalization of a roadmap struck in August 2016 but no longer fits with the political developments.

(ST)

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