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Sudan’s transitional govt will not let down those who want peace: official

Opening session of the third round of peace talks in Juba on 10 Dec 2019 (Sovereign Council Photo)

December 10, 2019 (JUBA) - The head of the transitional government negotiating delegation Tuesday stressed their commitment to achieving peace and adding they would not disappoint those looking for an agreement that addresses the root causes of the conflicts.

As scheduled, delegations of the government and the armed groups took part in the opening session of the third round of peace negotiations in Juba on Tuesday to reach a peace agreement in Darfur and the Two Areas.

The government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) have signed a declaration of principles (political agreement) and will begin direct negotiations. While the government and SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu will continue discussions over a declaration of principles.

In a speech delivered at the opening session, the head of the government negotiating delegation Mohmed Hamdan Daglo ’Hemetti’ said that the government came to fulfil the desire of the Sudanese people to reach a comprehensive and sustainable peace that addresses the root causes of the crisis and prepares the country‚Äôs transition to development throughout the country.

"Peace has become a general feeling experienced by all Sudanese, and what is lacking today is to crown this feeling with a firm and objective peace agreement that addresses issues of marginalization, justice and equality."

He stressed that the government will not disappoint the aspirations of the Sudanese people for peace, as the delegations of the armed movements are heralding peace across the country, he added.

This round comes after the arrival to Khartoum of delegations from the different armed groups which were received by the government before to travel to meet displaced people in the conflict areas.

Several international envoys also held meetings with delegations of the armed movements and called on them to limit negotiations in Juba to security arrangements and return to Khartoum to participate in the transitional government and a constitutional conference to address the country’s issues.

Some movements insist that the peace agreement should address the effects of the war, such as compensation, land ownership and the return of the displaced and refugees to their villages as well as ways to achieve justice. The SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu, for its part, calls to include in the peace agreement the separation of religion and state cultural pluralism.

In his speech, SRF leader al-Hadi Idriss stressed their awareness of the developments and challenges the country is going through at this stage, which he described as sensitive. He further said that the democratic transition in Sudan requires more cooperation and coordination with the transitional government.

Malik Agar, head of the SPLM-N Agar pointed to the need for tightening coordination and cooperation between the armed movements during the negotiations, stressing that no movement can solve alone the issues of its own region.

He was referring to the refusal of the SPLM-N al-Hilu to coordinate with them in the SRF and to hold separate talks with the government.

Al-Hilo, for his part, called for acknowledging religious and ethnic pluralism in Sudan.

He further said that all parties should rise to the level of the challenges and to address the root causes of the crisis before to say there are major challenges that require honesty and a commitment to implementation.

Minn Minnawi, SLM leader, said that the issues of Darfur are not isolated from the issues and goals of the revolution: Freedom, Peace, Justice and called to establish a Sudanese state based on citizenship.

He stressed the importance of international and regional support to Sudan to achieve peace and the tasks of the transitional period.

For his part, the South Sudanese mediator, Tut Kew Gatluak, called on the parties to reach an agreement that cuts the road for those who reject peace, in a reference to the refusal of an armed group led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur to join the negotiations.

The head of the peacekeeping mission in Darfur, Jeremiah Mamabolo renewed United Nations and African Union support for the negotiations and urged the parties to make the necessary concessions for peace.

The mission known as UNAMID sent a technical secretariat team to support the negotiations.