Sudan's peace talks start in Juba
Sudan’s transitional government and rebel leaders on Monday kicked off peace talks aimed at ending the country’s civil wars.
Several African leaders including Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Egypt’s Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni arrived in Juba to attend the opening session.
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir is hosting the talks in the capital, Juba, where the Sudanese government and opposition groups from several areas signed a roadmap for the talks last month.
Declaring the proceedings open, President Kiir urged the parties to work to overcome their differences through dialogue, saying achieving peace is crucial to Sudan and its neighbors.
“I humbly urge, as you begin the peace process to please dialogue, negotiate in good faith, and make necessary compromises for the sake of peace and security to the Sudanese people and our region,” he said.
“Concluding and reaching peace in Juba will be a huge boost and indeed encouragement to us as South Sudan heads toward the deadline of establishing a revitalized unity government in November 2019, after unnecessarily wasting five years of senseless war,” he added.
For his part, head of Sudan’s Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, reaffirmed his government’s commitment to make peace in Sudan. Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan said achieving peace and stability is the top agenda of the transitional government.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the region will work hard to maintain peace in Sudan and South Sudan, adding that the start of the peace talks demonstrate commitment by Sudanese parties to build a prosperous nation.
“It is my hope that our mediation will pave way for a peaceful agreement in Sudan. It is time for our region to embark on economic development for the youth,” Abiy said.
Meanwhile, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni urged the warring parties to ensure the fundamental causes of the conflict in Sudan are addressed, saying since 1960s, Sudan has failed to address the underlying causes of wars and marginalization due to lack of political ideology.
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.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011 after decades of civil war.