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UK diplomats urge expeditious peace agreement in Sudan


British diplomat Irfan Siddiq (L) and Chris Trott pose with Malik Agar and Yasir Arman in Juba on 20 Nov 2019 (Photo Irfan Siddiq)

November 21, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - UK Ambassador to Khartoum has urged the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) to work expeditiously for a peace deal with the transitional government to consolidate the democratic change in Sudan.

Ifran Siddiq and his colleague British Ambassador to Juba, Christopher Trott met Wednesday in Juba with SPLM-N Agar leader Malik Agar and his deputy Yasir Arman. They also met with South Sudanese presidential adviser and mediator for the Sudanese process.

The two British diplomats released several tweets about their meetings in Juba to discuss the Sudanese peace process as on Thursday they met with the Abdel Aziz al-Hilu, the leader of the SPLM-N al-Hilu.

"Peace remains a top priority and stressed UK support for a deal. But urged SRF not to pit the peace process and the national transition in competition against each other," said Siddiq.

Recently the SRF armed groups demanded to postpone the talks and the transitional authority also delayed the formation of the Transitional Legislative Assembly on the request of the rebel umbrella.

"Delays announced to peace talks and formation of the Assembly may have been necessary, but all need to work to ensure no further delay. Impatience is growing," he further stressed.

Western diplomats working to mobilize support for the democratic transition in Sudan showed concern over the demand by some armed groups for an internationally-supported peace process to be hosted in a foreign capital like the time of the former regime.

They say this demand is unjustified and called them to negotiate security arrangement and to return home. Also, they urged them to stop quarrelling with their political partners in the Forces fro Freedom and Change (FFC).

Ending the war in Sudan during the six months of the transitional period is seen as crucial to draw international support for the improvised country.

"Formation of the Legislative Assembly strengthens civilian institutions and representation in the transition. Efforts to achieve democracy and peace are mutually reinforcing. Hope SRF changes its position on the formation of the Assembly to support its swift formation," Siddiq writes in another tweet.

In a separate statement extended to Sudan Tribune, SPLM-N Agar pointed to the British U.S. and Norway’s diplomats before to announce their support for the international efforts for a quick peace agreement and strong mobilization to back democratic transition in Sudan.

"All these meetings to strengthen the peace process and accelerate the achievement of an urgent peace (...) are consistent with the decisions of its recent leadership conference," said.

For his part, Trott said they had an Interesting discussion on peace in Sudan with the South Sudanese presidential adviser Tut Kew Gatluak

Siddiq and Trott, on Thursday morning, discussed peace in Sudan with al-Hilu who is conducting a separate peace track in Juba with the transitional government.

The UK diplomat in Khartoum they had a "fascinating" discussion with al-Hilu on peace and the future of Sudan.

"The revolution is a great opportunity to finally build a state of equal citizenship, full inclusion and respect for Sudan’s diversity," he added.


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