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Government, SRF delegation agree on Juba as venue for Sudan’s peace process

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Sudan's govt negotiating team spokesman Mohamed H Eltaishi (L) and al-Hadi Idris speak to reporters in Juba on 17 October 2019 (ST photo)
October 17, 2019 (JUBA) - The head of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (?SRF) Hadi Idriss Thursday revealed they agreed that the talks for peace in Darfur be held in Juba and proposed to postpone the process to prepare the needed arrangements.

The agreement was reached in a joint meeting held between the SRF delegation, the transitional government delegation and the South Sudanese mediation team as well as an African Union representative.

It was the first direct meeting between the government and the SRF delegations. During the past days, the rebel umbrella discussed with the South Sudanese mediation the implementation of the Juba Declaration and other procedural matters.

"The meeting agreed that Juba would be the venue of the negotiations. In return, the South Sudanese government should reach out the African Union to obtain a clear and explicit mandate to host the negotiations," Idris told Sudan Tribune.

The Juba declaration between the government and SRF stated that the talks would begin on 14 October without indicating the venue of the talks as it was the case for the text signed with the SPLM-N al-Hilu.

Also, leaders of several SRF factions had voiced explicit reservations about holding the peace talks in South Sudan.

They said that the venue should be in a country that can contribute to the implementation of the would-be signed agreement and provide money for the rehabilitation of the war-ravaged regions, pointing that Saudi Arabia or the UAE have shown their interest and Qatar has already a mandate to sponsor the Darfur process.

Al-Hadi noted that Juba, as a mediator, also have to contact the countries mentioned in the Juba Declaration to ensure their participation in the negotiating process as facilitators or observers.

The declaration of principles signed in Juba on 11 September, provides that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Sudan’s neighbours, France, Germany, Troika countries, African Union, European Union and United Nations should be associated to the process.

The SRF chairman added that all these things need more time before to be done, besides the other preparations and logistics for the military teams that will negotiate the security arrangements and advisers.

"To make these things happen, we proposed postponing the negotiations for a period of two weeks to a month to arrange the negotiations," he said.

Idris reiterated that they are "strongly committed" to end negotiations before or on December 14 of this year, as agreed in the Juba Declaration.

Sudan’s transitional government pledged to achieve peace in Sudan within six months and to dedicate all the country’s resources for development and welfare.

After the joint meeting, the spokesman of the Sudanese government negotiating delegation Mohamed Hassan Eltaishi and Idris briefed the media about the what was agreed in the meeting and announced the formation of a committee to assess the implementation of the Juba Declaration.

In his remarks, Eltaishi said the parties and partners in the revolution are committed to end the armed conflicts and reach an agreement in a short time and reiterated his government’s willingness to negotiate in a good faith with the SRF to reach an agreement.

"The meeting agreed to form a joint committee between the government and the Revolutionary Front to review the implementation of what was agreed upon in the Juba declaration, and to set an agenda for the negotiating roadmap," he said.

Eltaishi described this development as an advanced step in scheduling discussion topics and would enable the parties to achieve a major breakthrough in a short time, as he said.

In his statement to Sudan Tribune, Idris confirmed that the joint committee will define a roadmap that includes the issues to be discussed.

(ST)

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