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Khartoum’s position on S. Sudan conflict widely accepted: FM

February 10, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti said his country’s stance towards the ongoing conflict in South Sudan was received positively in the region.

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FILE - Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti (Photo: REUTERS / Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Karti, emphasized in statements on Monday following his briefing to the parliamentary emergency committee on the situation in South Sudan, that the conflicting parties sought Sudan’s help to reach an agreement.

The top Sudanese diplomat said that any approach other than the unbiased one adopted by Khartoum would have led to catastrophic consequences, stressing that if Khartoum took sides in the conflict it would pay the price whether the party it supported won or lost.

“We won’t take part in the conflict in South Sudan”, he added

He disclosed that a decision will soon be made to activate the four freedoms agreement with South Sudan which allows freedom of residence, movement, work, and ownership.

“That is why we have not dealt with South Sudanese citizens who resorted to Sudan during the conflict as refugees”, Karti said adding that Khartoum considers them regular citizens, noting that they have the right to receive medical treatment and reside in any area inside Sudan.

The foreign minister also said Sudan provided humanitarian assistance to South Sudan in the form of medicine and food including 5.000 tons of sorghum before the outbreak of the current conflict, saying they are prepared to provide additional assistance.

He mentioned that Juba asked Khartoum to provide technicians and technical support in oil fields, stressing they would carry out the move following restoration of security situation.

Karti revealed that the Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, decided to expel Sudanese rebels from his country, stressing they declared a clear and explicit stance against Ugandan support for representatives of rebel groups.

He pointed that Museveni repeatedly pledged to expel rebel leaders before and even expressed readiness to mediate between them and Khartoum which the latter rejects.

“The Sudanese government refuses the Ugandan mediation as long as it hosts the rebels in its territory”, Karti said.

The foreign minister further mentioned that Museveni told president Bashir when they recently met in Addis Ababa that he expelled the Sudanese rebels from his country, saying Ugandan support for rebels of Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile hinders development of bilateral ties.

Meanwhile, the MP, Hussein Abdalla Gibril, has disclosed ongoing arrangements made by the liaison committee in charge of encouraging non-signatory parties to join the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) which is headed by Sideeg Wada’a to hold talks with rebel groups in Chad.

He said in a press statement on Monday that Wada’a left for Chad to meet with President Idris Dibby in order to develop a road map for the negotiations between the Sudanese government and the rebel groups.

The DDPD was finalized at the All Darfur Stakeholders Conference in May 2011 in Doha. In mid-July the Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) led by al-Sissi signed a protocol agreement committing them to the document.

The Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and Abdel-Wahid Nur (SLM-AW) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) refused to sign the accord and remain at war with Khartoum.

Gibril added the meeting will set a date for meeting with the rebel groups, asserting that SLM-MM and JEM would participate in the upcoming meeting.

He stressed the liaison committee would ask the government to offer some incentives for the non-signatory groups in order to join the peace process.

(ST)