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Armed groups says committed to peace in Sudan, but want to discuss benchmarks first

October 11, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) leader Hadi Idris Friday said they will travel to Juba to discuss issues of concern about the peace process in the country.

Hadi Idris,SLM-TC leader and SRF Chairman

The South Sudanese government is preparing to host the negotiations between the Sudanese transitional government and the armed groups in Darfur region, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

In line with the Juba Declaration signed on 11 September, the SRF and the transitional government agreed to begin the peace talks on 14 October but they didn’t agree on the venue of the process.

Only the Sudan’s People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu agreed in a separate document with the government that the negotiations will be in the South Sudanese capital.

"We are committed to the Juba Declaration and we will be there on 14 October," Idris told Sudan Tribune before to add that they want first to address some "reservations and benchmarks" before to launch the talks.

During a recent workshop on peace issues held in Addis Ababa, SRF leading officials told Sudan Tribune that the South Sudanese government want to impose Juba as the venue of the talks while this matter was not agreed between the parties last September.

The official who spoke under the cover of anonymity further pointed that the invitation for talks received from Juba, the South Sudanese government even went to determine the agenda of the talks, another matter they didn’t yet agree on it.

In Khartoum, South Sudanese Presidential Adviser on Security Affairs Tut Kew Gatluak handed over officially an invitation to the head of the Transitional Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

The Sudanese presidency, in a statement issued after the meeting, said that Gatluak briefed a meeting of the Supreme Council for Peace headed by al-Burhan on the arrangements and preparations of South Sudan to host the negotiations.

During his visit to Addis Ababa, the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok met with SRF Secretary-General Gibril Ibrahim who is also the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement.

"We also talked about the peace process and the need to go along the peace path as quickly as possible so that the country can take the road of construction rather than the path of war," said Ibrahim in statements to the official news agency SUNA.

"In the Juba Declaration we talked about reaching a peace agreement within two months and we are still optimistic that we can reach this agreement during the agreed period," he further said.