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African Union reportedly seeks new mediator for peace in Sudan

August 29, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) purportedly has begun the search for a successor to the head of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) former South African President Thabo Mbeki.

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Former South African president and chairman of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel, Thabo Mbeki (Photo: Reuters)

The AUHIP panel has been mediating talks to end the conflict in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan since June 2011, one month after its eruption of the conflict.

However, the parties failed to reach an agreement as the mediators have been several times blamed for delaying the talks and organising "seasonal meetings".

Reached by Sudan Tribune, a member of the Sudanese government delegation admitted that the African Union is mulling over a new chairperson for the AUHIP, adding there is unjustified delay the resumption of talks.

Hussein Karshoum further said that there are "whispers" in the circles close to the Sudanese file in Addis Abab about the slowness of mediators in resolving the crisis during the over six-year process.

"So, there are questions about whether it is possible to change Mbeki, can the negotiation approach be changed, and is there another host country to consider?" He said.

After several years of talks on the conflict in the Two-Areas, in 2014 the AUPSC extended the scope of the talks and included Darfur armed groups as well as the political opposition groups.

The purpose was to achieve a comprehensive solution including the end of armed conflicts and to achieve democratic reforms in Sudan.

This year, German government which facilitates the AUHIP efforts for peace in Sudan organized several sessions for Darfur armed groups alone or with the government, giving the impression of a return to the old approach of separate processes one for Darfur and the other for the Two Areas.

The Sudanese official said his government wants to reach a quick settlement of the conflict.

"Although he is a great figure, there are rapid developments at the level of the SPLM-N and the region," he added.

The government and the armed groups are observing a unilateral cessation of hostilities following an effort in 2015 by the administration of President Obama who was seeking to bring peace in Sudan before the end of his second term.

(ST)