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UN calls to press Darfur holdout group to join peace talks

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Jean Pierre Lacroix speaks at the UN Security Council (UN file photo)

October 19, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The head of UN peacekeeping department Jean Pierre Lacroix called on the UN Security Council to exert the needed efforts to bring the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW) to the negotiating table with the Sudanese government.

Lacroix made his call in a briefing to the 15-member council about his recent visit to Sudan where he discussed the UNAMID withdrawal and ongoing efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace in the country.

In his briefing, he pointed to the launch of the peace process in Juba where all the armed groups are gathered to discuss a negotiated solution for the armed conflicts in Darfur, the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

The international official said that Sudanese officials in Khartoum regretted the rejection of Abdel Wahid al-Nur to join the peace process despite the efforts exerted by Sudanese Prime Minister who met him last September during a visit to Paris.

"Our interlocutors deplored the fact that, despite Prime Minister Hamdok’s initiative to meet with Abdel Wahid al-Nur of the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdel Wahid in Paris on 30 September, the latter has continued to reject the transition process and the new Government, and is yet to join the peace talks process".

"In our view, every effort should be made to impress upon all concerned groups the imperative of seizing the momentum for peace," he further said.

Al-Nur who rejects to recognize the civilian-led government formed after the ouster of the former regime says a referendum must be held on the legitimacy of the new regime before to engage in peace talks.

Lacrix also told the Council that the holdout group continue to attack the Sudanese army positions around Golo and abducted local staff of "international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for ransom, robbed commercial trucks and looted property of local medical and humanitarian organizations," as provided in the Secretary General report dated on 15 October.

The report, seen by Sudan Tribune, further speaks about in fighting between two SLA-Aw factions in the Daya area, east of Golo.

"The infighting between the two SLA-AW factions of commanders Salih Borsa and Mubarak Aldouk continued as a result of the latter’s attempt to negotiate a surrender with the authorities," reads the report.

(ST)

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