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Sudan peace mediators delay visit to Khartoum: official

June 12, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government on Tuesday said the African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) has postponed a visit of the special envoy of the chief African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki to Khartoum.

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Head of government delegation for talks for peace in Darfur Amin Hassan Omer speaks to reporters in Addis Ababa on Friday 20 November 2015 (ST Photo)

Earlier this month, Sudan’s Presidential Envoy for Diplomatic Contact and Negotiation for Darfur Amin Hassan Omer said a delegation from the AUHIP would arrive in Khartoum on 4 June to discuss ways to resume peace talks.

However, Omer announced the AUHIP has delayed the visit but he didn’t elaborate on what motivated the postponement.

In press statements on Tuesday, Omer said Mbeki’s envoy may arrive in Khartoum after the Eid al-Fitr holiday to meet with the government negotiators, stressing his team’s readiness to resume the peace talks with the rebel movements.

On 16-17 April, delegations representing the Government of Sudan, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi held a two-day meeting in Berlin to reach a pre-negotiation agreement.

The parties failed to conclude a declaration of principles for the talks because the armed groups demand the creation of new and independent implementation mechanisms for a subsequent peace.

However, the two holdout groups for the first time accepted the principle of negotiating on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).

Following a briefing by the mediation team on the challenges they face with regard to the peace process, the AU Peace and Security Council on 20 February 2018 urged the non-signatory groups in Darfur to commence, within three months, engagement for peace on the basis of the DDPD.

The Sudanese army has been fighting a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the conflict and over 2.5 million were displaced.

(ST)