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Sudan’s Hamdok visits SPLM-N strongholds, call s for peace


Pime minister Abdallah Hamdok received by SPLM-N leader Abdel Aziz al-Hilu on 9 January 2020 (SUNA photo)
January 9, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok Thursday paid a historic visit to the SPLM-N al-Hilu stronghold Kauda, in South Kordofan State where he renewed his call for peace.

Hamdok’s visit to Kauda is the first by a senior Sudanese official after the eruption of the war in June 2011.

He was accompanied by the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Donald Booth, British Ambassador to Sudan Ifran Sidiqq, Norway’s Special Envoy to Sudan, Endre Stiansen and the WFP Executive Director David Beasley.

The Sudanese prime minister arrived in Kauda on a plane of the World Food Programme because Sudanese planes are not allowed in the rebel-held area. He was received by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu, the Movement’s senior officials and a huge number of Kauda people.

The crowd chanted slogans for peace and raised banners with the demands of SPLM-N al-Hilu calling for a secular state in Sudan or self-determination.

In a speech delivered from a podium decorated with banners calling for a secular state and separation between the state and religion, Hamdok called on the SPLM-N leadership to join the government’s efforts to end the war and achieve peace in the country.

"You’re the spine of the peace process," stressed the Sudanese prime minister.

Peace talks in Juba with the SPLM-N al-Hilu are stalled over the secular state. The Movement’s negotiating delegation saying the matter should be discussed in the peace process while the government speaks about a constitutional conference as the venue for such discussions.

Sudanese information minister and government spokesman Faisal Mohamed Saleh said that Hamdok intended to "make a historic apology" to the Sudanese in the Nuba Mountains for grievances, killings and intimidation that were carried out by the former regime for 30 years.

Hamdok addressed a solemnly invited al-Hilu to come to Khartoum pointing that he came on an invitation extended by al-Hilu.

The Troika members: Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States, praised the historic meeting in Kauda between Hamdok and al-Hilu.

"We see this as a major confidence-building step in the peace process, one that we hope will pave the way for safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all areas and lead to the swift and successful conclusion of peace negotiations by the 14 February deadline agreed by all parties," further said the three countries.


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