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SPLM-N al-Hilu will negotiate peace in Sudan with transitional government: statement

Abdel Aziz al-Hilu addressing the SPLM-N extraordinary conference held on 8-12 October (Photo SPLM-N)
July 28, 2019 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu (SPLM-N) said they are only willing to discuss peace with a transitional government supported by the Sudanese people.

A delegation of the rebel group led by its deputy leader Gagod Mukwar met Saturday with a joint delegation from the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) in Juba upon the request of President Salva Kiir who facilitated the meeting.

The group leader al-Hilu did not meet the Sudanese delegation because of illness, as it was reported by the TMC spokesperson who was in Juba.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Sunday, the SPLM-N al-Hilu said they accepted to meet the joint delegation upon the request of President Kiir, "with the sole objective of listening to the joint delegation".

"The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM/A) reaffirms its firm commitment to negotiating with a government that yields from the agreement between the FFC the military junta, accepted and supported by the Sudanese in order to achieve a comprehensive and just peace by addressing the root causes of the crisis and rebuilding the Sudanese state on a new basis".

The statement underscored that they informed the joint delegation of this position.

In statements to the media in Juba after the meeting, Mukwar said they will not discuss issues of peace before the formation of the transitional government.

"We also renew the ceasefire for another three months, and we can thank President Salva Kiir for his initiative to achieve peace in Sudan," he added.

Next Tuesday, the TMC and FFC will begin talks on the constitutional declaration. Once an agreement is reached they will form a transitional government that will be tasked with reaching peace agreements with the armed groups within six months.

The Sudanese and South Sudanese authorities focused on the meeting between the Sudanese joint delegation and Malik Agar, the leader of the other faction of the SPLM-N.

Agar who is a leading member of the FFC agreed with the delegation on confidence-building measures including the renewal of the cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access to the civilians in the war-affected areas and the cancellation of the death sentences against him and the Movement’s deputy chairman Yasir Arman.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir stressed the need to speed up the formation of the government to reach a lasting peace agreement paving the way for political stability in Sudan.

He also pointed out that peace in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states will contribute the stability in the two countries which have historical and common ties and mutual interests.

(ST)