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Troika countries encourage SPLM-N to resume talks for peace in Sudan

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Troika and UNITAMS envoys with al-Hilu peak to the SPLM-N supporters in Kuda on 3 July 2021 (Photo Fairweather)July 4, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - Troika countries and UNITAMS encouraged the SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu to return to the negotiating table and resume peace talks with the transitional Sudanese government.

On 15 June, The mediation adjourned talks between the two Sudanese parties saying they need to consult with their respective leadership on the sticky points.

The talks stalled, among others, over the extent of the separation between the state and religion, and the SPLM-N demand to integrate the controversial militia of the Rapid Support Forces in the Sudanese army together with its fighters.

On Saturday 3 July, Troika envoys including Endre Stiansen of Norway, Robert Fairweather of the United Kingdom and Donald Booth of the United State together with the UNITAMS head Volker Perthese met with the SPLM-N leader Abdel Aziz al-Hilu in Kuda to discuss ways to resume talks in Juba.

On Sunday, they returned to the capital Khartoum where they met with the Sudanese prime minister and the head of the Sovereign Council to discuss the outcome of their meeting with al-Hilu on the outstanding points.

In a joint statement, the Troika envoys underscored the importance of the Declaration of Principles of 28 March where the two sides agreed on the separation of religion and state and the integration of the government and SPLM-N armies during the transition.

"We encouraged the SPLM-N National Liberation Council to build on this success, join the New Sudan and help bring about lasting peace," further stressed the statement.

After their meeting with al-Burahn, Fairweather told reporters that they explained the discussion they had with al-Hilu in Kuda.

"We came away with a very positive feeling of the progress we saw in that area," said the British envoy.

"The faster negotiations resume the better. To succeed Sudan’s transition needs all its people," he further wrote in a tweet posted on Sunday.

In the same vein, Stiansen told Prime Minister Hamdok that the discussions they had with the leaders of the SPLM-N and the people in Kuda "will help push the peace process forward," according to the official news agency SUNA.

In a tweet on Sunday, Perthese, for his part, said that the visit intended "to demonstrate international support to the peace process, reconfirm the importance of common earlier commitments, and listen directly to the people in Nuba and Blue Nile".

(ST)

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