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Sudanese parties hand over proposals on how to resume peace talks: sources

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December 1, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government and the rebel movements in Darfur and the Two Areas have handed over position papers to the African mediation on how to resume the peace talks.

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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 semi-official SMC has quoted well-informed resources as saying the negotiating parties have developed a package of proposals to push forward the peace process including on the cessation of hostilities and delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The same sources pointed out that the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) chief Thabo Mbeki is currently working on arranging the agenda of the talks and developing a negotiation approach agreeable to all parties.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (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 AUHIP is brokering comprehensive peace talks to end the war and achieve democratic reforms. The two-track process comprises the Sudanese government and opposition forces including the armed groups in Darfur and the Two Areas.

In March and August 2016, the Sudanese government and the opposition alliance Sudan Call including the armed groups in Darfur and the Two Areas respectively signed a Roadmap Agreement for peace in Sudan proposed by the AUHIP.

The UK Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Christopher Trott, in a Tweet posted on Monday, said he learned that the mediation plans to convene for a meeting between the Sudanese parties in December.

The consultations for the resumption of negotiations with the armed groups in Darfur marked some progress as the government and the two groups involved in the process: Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Gibril Ibrahim, are prepared to sign a pre-negotiation agreement.

After a recent meeting held in Addis Ababa on 22-23 November, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) said the two leaders initialled the draft framework agreement for the peace talks.

Also, JEM said n a statement released after the meeting that they deleted from the draft agreement the words "Darfur or Sudan" so that the issues on the negotiating table "are unrestricted".

The African mediators who will broker the political talks between the government and all the opposition groups propose to amend the Roadmap Agreement and cancel the national dialogue process and move directly to the constitutional conference.

This amendment means that the talks for peace in Darfur or in the Two Areas will be opened to include national issues that were supposed to be discussed at the level of the national dialogue with the participation of the non-armed opposition groups.

(ST)

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