Sudan’s negotiators to travel to Berlin and Addis Ababa to meet rebel leaders

Amin Hassan Omer

December 3, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government would dispatch two envoys to Berlin and Addis Ababa as part of the efforts to resume the peace talks in Darfur and the Two Areas, well-informed sources told Sudan Tribune

According to the sources, the presidential assistant and head of the government negotiating team for the Two Areas talks Faisal Hassan Ibrahim would leave for Addis Ababa next to meet with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N).

Also, the Presidential Envoy for Diplomatic Contact and Negotiation for Darfur Amin Hassan Omer would travel to Berlin on Monday evening to meet with the leaders of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) led by Minni Minnawi to sign a pre-negotiation agreement.

The same sources pointed out that Berlin meeting is expected to discuss a number of issues including to define the role of the mediation, agreeing on the negotiation issues, approving a new implementation mechanism as well as how to deal with the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) in the future talks.

Following the Berlin meeting, Omer would travel to Addis Ababa to join the head of the negotiating team for the Two Areas talks Faisal Hassan Ibrahim.

The government and the armed groups in Darfur held several meetings in Berlin earlier this year to discuss a framework agreement (pre-negotiation agreement) before to engage in the peace talks.

The government had refused a demand made by the rebels to establish a new mechanism to implement the future peace agreement. However, Khartoum recently informed the German and U.S. facilitators they are no longer opposed to this mechanism.

After a recent meeting held in Addis Ababa on 22-23 November, the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) said the leaders of JEM and SLM-MM initialled the draft framework agreement for the peace talks.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-N) rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan since 2011 and a number of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.

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The African Union High Implementation Panel (AUHIP) is brokering comprehensive peace talks to end the war and achieve democratic reforms. The two-track process comprises the Sudanese government and opposition forces including the armed groups in Darfur and the Two Areas.

GOVERNMENT TO MEET SUDAN CALL

Meanwhile, leader of the National Umma Party (NUP) and head of the Sudan Call, Sadiq al-Mahdi, said the AUHIP has invited the opposition alliance for a meeting with the Sudanese government on 9 December in Addis Ababa.

In his weekly recorded message on Monday, al-Mahdi said he accepted the invitation to meet with the government team, pointing out that he considers it as the preliminary meeting that was provided for in the Roadmap Agreement.

He expressed his support for the meetings between the government and the armed groups in Doha, Juba and Berlin, saying the meeting aims to achieve technical agreements on the cessation of hostilities, humanitarian aid and the exchange of prisoners.

Al-Mahdi expected the meeting to discuss a number of issues including creating a conducive environment for dialogue and national governance, establishing the bases for a just and comprehensive peace agreement and agreeing on holding the constitutional conference.

In Mars and August 2016, the Sudanese government and the opposition alliance respectively signed a roadmap for peace in Sudan providing that the warring parties end the war, negotiate peace agreement and together with the opposition political groups hold a preparatory conference before to return to Sudan and participate in the national dialogue process and a constitutional conference.

However, the parties failed to strike a cessation of hostilities deal and a humanitarian access agreement in Darfur and the Two Areas for different reasons. As a result, the government held its national dialogue conference and formed a national consensus government to implement its recommendations.

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AUHIP CHIEF TO VISIT KHARTOUM

On the other hand, the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) quoted reliable sources as saying the AUHIP chief Thabo Mbeki will visit Sudan during the next couple of weeks.

The chief mediator is expected to lay out a proposal to the government on how to resume the peace talks in Darfur and the Two Areas.

The same sources stressed the next round of talks must be held on the bases of what has been agree during the previous meetings, pointing out that the government wouldn’t accept any pre-conditions.

It expected that the Two Areas talks would be resumed before the end of the year.

On Saturday, the SMC quoted well-informed sources as saying the Sudanese government and the rebel movements in Darfur and the Two Areas have handed over position papers to the African mediation on how to resume the peace talks.

It pointed out that negotiating parties have developed a package of proposals to push forward the peace process including on the cessation of hostilities and delivery of humanitarian assistance, saying Mbeki is currently mulling over the proposals to develop the agenda of the talks and the negotiation approach.

(ST)

Source:: SUDAN TRIBUNE

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