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No date has yet been set to resume Two Areas talks: spokesperson

June 6, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s negotiating team on the conflict in the Two Areas on Wednesday said the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) hasn’t yet fixed a date 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)

Spokesperson of the government negotiating team Hussein Hamdi pointed to contacts with the various parties to convince the holdout groups to join the peace process.

Hamdi told the semi-official (SMC) that they are in contact with the African Union and the African Mechanism and all concerned parties in order to move towards peace and achieve peace in the two regions, pointing out that contacts are underway in this regard.

Hamdi stressed the government delegation sticks to the agreed references of talks and the Roadmap as the only bases for negotiation.

Recently, there were reports about contacts by the African mediation with the SPLM-N under the leadership of Abdel Azizi al-Hilu to resume talks with the government in order to achieve peace in the Two Areas.

However, the mediation team in its meeting with the SPLM-N al-Hilu reportedly failed to fix a date for the resumption of the talks.

The AU 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.

During the recent round of talks from 1 to 3 February, the Sudanese government and SPLM-N al-Hilu failed to reach a cessation of hostilities agreement.

Al-Hilu group demands to deliver humanitarian assistance directly from abroad to the rebel-held areas, but Khartoum rejects such request saying all the relief operations should be conducted from the Sudanese territory.

Before the SPLM-IO split into two factions, the rebel group called to establish a corridor from Asosa on the Ethiopian border to deliver 20 percent of the humanitarian aid directly to the SPLM-N-controlled areas in the Blue Nile state.

In February talks, the mediation limited the discussions on the cessation of hostilities to the government and the SPLM-N al-Hilu saying Agar faction has no military leverage in the Blue Nile state.

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.