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JUBA - 18 Oct 2019

Sudan: Rivals agree on agenda for peace talks

Photo: Mohammed Hassan al-Taishi (L) and chief mediator Tut Gatluak (R)
Photo: Mohammed Hassan al-Taishi (L) and chief mediator Tut Gatluak (R)

The Sudanese government and a key rebel group have agreed on agendas for peace talks aimed at ending the country's deep political crisis.

Peace talks between the government and 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, resumed this morning after they were suspended on Wednesday.

In a press conference in Juba this afternoon, spokesman of the SPLM-N negotiating team, Mahmoud Ahmed Al-Jak said in the first direct engagement between both sides, they categorized the agenda of peace negotiations.

“We agreed that the political issues will be prioritized in the negotiations. Secondly, we agreed that the humanitarian issue will be the second dossier to be discussed. Thirdly, we agreed that the security arrangements will be the last issues to be discussed by the parties,” he explained.  

Al-Jak revealed that the parties will discuss the declaration of principles on Saturday, saying the position papers to be discussed tomorrow would be the basis of the negotiations.

For his part, Mohammed Hassan al-Taishi, a member of the Sovereign Council, said they have reached a breakthrough to categorize negotiation issues, following today’s direct talks.

He pointed out that they agreed to discuss the general guidelines for the negotiation process on Saturday. “The parties have agreed to present their proposals on the political issues and the sequence of their agenda,” al-Taishi said.

Last week, Sudan’s new transitional government vowed to make achieving peace and stability a priority.

South Sudan's mediation efforts are also aimed at bringing an end to conflicts in the Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur regions. 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.