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SLM Minnawi calls on British lawmakers to press Khartoum into peace

Sudanese government delegation to a consultations meeting with JEM & SLM-MM on peace in Darfur on 16-17 April 2018 (ST Photo)

September 9, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) Sunday called on British lawmakers who will visit Sudan this week to raise issues of peace, justice and release of the prisoners of war with the Sudanese officials.

A three-member delegation of UK parliamentarians will begin a four-day visit to Sudan from September 16 to September 20. The lawmakers will spend 3 days in Khartoum and 1 day in Darfur.

The delegation, which represents the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sudan and South Sudan, will discuss "issues of peace, social justice, and human rights", according to a statement issued several days ago.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, SLM-MM Secretary of Media and Communication Nuraddayim Taha welcomed the visit of the British legislators to Sudan and expressed hope that it will allow the visiting parliamentarians to verify that the situation on the ground is different from Khartoum claims of "peace, stability, human rights, democracy and security".

"The war is still going on in the margins of Sudan, especially in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile. More than three million people were displaced or refugees in the neighbouring countries. While the country is suffering from basic services, insecurity and freedoms, the government has failed to address issues of comprehensive peace that lead to a real democratic transformation in the country," said Taha.

He further expressed the readiness of his group to achieve durable comprehensive peace and justice and called on the British lawmakers to press Khartoum to engage in a "genuine peace process that addresses the root causes of the crisis in Sudan".

Earlier this year, the armed groups in Darfur that are part of the peace process - the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and SPLM-MM accepted to negotiate on the basis of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur but demanded that Khartoum negotiate new implementation mechanism, a request the government rejects.

The rebel official further urged the delegation to visit the prisoner of war pointing out that the Sudanese authorities hold in jail hundreds of POWs including 135 SLM-MM fighters adding that many of them died in prison due to the torture, and lack of medication

Also, Taha further referred to the ongoing strategic dialogue between the British and Sudanese government saying that Khartoum didn’t improve its records in the human rights and freedom expressing fears that any " progress in the relations of the two governments at this particular time does not serve the common interests of the two nations".

The British parliamentarian delegation is made up of Labour MPs David Drew and Liz McInnes, Conservative MP James Duddridge, and Liberal Democrat Peer Baroness Shas Sheehan.

Besides their meetings with the government officials and parliamentarians, the visiting lawmakers will meet civil society groups in Khartoum, as well as UN officials, representatives and IDPs in Darfur.