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Sudanese parties mark progress on land issues in Darfur: official

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January 16, 2020 (JUBA) - The Sudanese government announced, on Thursday, progress in the difficult file of land ownership in Darfur during the ongoing negotiations with the armed groups in Juba.

"The negotiations taking place in Juba have made tangible progress in the difficult files related to power and land," said Mohamed Hassan al-Taishi, a member of the Sovereign Council.

Al-Taishi leads the government negotiating team on the Darfur track, where armed movements from the western Sudan region are negotiated under the banner of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF).

He told reporters that the parties discussed the issues of land ownership and Hawakir (tribal reservations), which raise tensions and often end in bloody tribal fighting.

"The land file is linked to old and complicated conflicts, yet we have made progress in it. These issues) will be subject to further discussions in (Friday’s) session," he said

" Further, a committee of experts is working to develop a vision on the power-sharing issues in Darfur, which will be discussed by the parties within two days."

The Sudanese government and the armed groups vowed to strike a comprehensive peace deal by February but the slow pace of talks make it difficult to predict an agreement next month.

Al-Taishi pointed out that the government delegation and the SPLM-N led by Malik Aqar will hold a negotiation round at a later time to discuss the files of the two regions.

He stressed that the two sides are about to conclude the discussions on the proposals made by the SPLM-Agar, in the various issues. He further underscored that discussions on the security arrangements in both Darfur and the Two Areas will begin during the coming days with the SRF groups.

The Sudanese official pointed to the resumption of talks with the SPLM-N al-Hilu but he did not elaborate on the matter.

Al-Hilu calls to include the secular state in the peace talks but the government rejects the request.

(ST)

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