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JUBA - 17 Oct 2019

SPLM-N agrees to resume talks after suspension

SPLM-N chief negotiator Ammar Amoun speaking to reporters in Juba on 17 September, 2019. (Radio Tamazuj)
SPLM-N chief negotiator Ammar Amoun speaking to reporters in Juba on 17 September, 2019. (Radio Tamazuj)

Peace talks between Sudan’s government and a key rebel faction would resume on Friday morning after they were suspended on Wednesday.

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) faction led by Gen. Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu, a rebel group in Blue Nile and South Kordofan States, suspended direct talks in protest at a government assault.

It accused the transitional government of occupying new areas in the Nuba Mountains region and violating the agreed ceasefire.

But the government delegation denied the accusations and said it was ready to investigate the incident to ensure peace negotiations continue uninterrupted.

In a press conference in Juba on Thursday evening, SPLM-N chief negotiator Ammar Amoun said that his group decided to return to the negotiating table after the transitional government started to take positive steps in an attempt to address some concerns.

The Sudanese rebel group had called for the immediate release of prisoners of war, the withdrawal of government troops from areas they have captured and a halt to hostilities.

“We have talked to the mediation team to engage the government so that our demands are met, but this cannot stop us from returning to the negotiating table. So we are now ready to negotiate with the Khartoum government,” Ammar said.

Tut Gatluak, who is the chief mediator in the peace talks, said peace negotiations that stalled would resume on Friday morning.

“The SPLM-N team has accepted to resume peace talks with the government so that the parties can go ahead. I can announce that the direct talks would resume on Friday morning,” he said.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir is hosting the talks in the capital, Juba, where the Sudanese government and armed opposition groups from several areas signed a roadmap for the talks last month.

Fighting between the Sudanese army and rebels in the Kordofan and Blue Nile regions broke out in 2011, and conflict in Darfur began in 2003.