January 17, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government and SPLM-N Agar negotiating delegations Friday said they conclude talks on the political agenda and will resume talks on the last item, security arrangements, very soon.
The government and the SPLM-N led by Malik Agar are holding separate talks on the conflict in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan as the other SPLM-N group led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu declined to form a joint negotiating team with them.
The SPLM-N Agar calls for a large autonomy for the Two Areas while the movement led by al-Hilu demands a secular state in Sudan.
The two teams - headed by Chams al-Din Kabbashi for the government and Yasir Arman for the SPLM-N Agar- concluded a negotiation session on Friday evening on the political file, said a statement released in Khartoum by the Sovereign Council.
According to the statement, Khabbashi said the two parties ended the discussion on the political file and pointed out that joint committees began implementing the agreed humanitarian assistance.
He further announced, "the start of the discussion on the framework agreement related to security arrangements in the coming days" added the statement.
The two sides previously signed a humanitarian cessation of hostilities. Also, the SPLM-N Agar announced the arrival of WFP assessment team to the areas under its control.
For his part, Yasir Arman said that the parties' determination to achieve peace is irreversible.
"The two sides are resolved to reach a comprehensive and speedy peace that completes the revolution," he further stressed.
He said the peace agreement with the government will be within the framework of a unified Sudan and it should produce new mechanisms that take into account the specificity of the Two Areas.
An inclusive peace deal between the government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front will be signed once all the other tracks reach agreements with the government on their issues.
January 17, 2019 (JUBA) - The heads of negotiating teams of the government and Darfur armed groups on Friday quickly dismissed statements by Minni Minnawi the SLM leader about a setback in the ongoing discussions to end the 17-year conflict in western Sudan.
The head of the government negotiating team and member of the Sovereign Council Mohamed Hassan al-Taishi on Thursday told reporters that discussing land ownership and tribal reservations and spoke about progress in the talks.
However, on Friday, Minni Minnawi leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) released a first tweet speaking about "a sudden and grave setback" in negotiations on Darfur
"The government delegation reversed its position on all the items that were agreed upon in the last period, (...) they "unashamedly said we have backpedalled on what we had agreed" before to conclude "Unfortunately, our history repeats shamelessly".
Reacting to these statements, al-Taishi and the leader of the Sudanese Revolutionary Movement Hadi Idris held a press conference in Juba to reaffirm their commitment to the peace process and denied any setback in the negotiations.
Al-Taishi who is from the region stressed that the transitional authority has a constitutional mandate to achieve peace within six months but not to wage war.
He also mentioned issues of power-sharing and security arrangements that Minnawi used to raise.
"Concerning civil governors, they would be appointed temporarily," he said before to stress that this step should not hamper a political agreement.
He further pointed to the imperious need for the transitional authority to enhance the empowerment of the civilians and to remove the supporters of the former regime from the vital government institutions.
For the security arrangements, the Sudanese official underlined that talks on this issue have not started and it is too early to make any projection.
Minnawi used to criticize the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and to accuse them of seeking to exclude periphery people from power.
On the same vein, Idriss SRF leader denied any divergences in the peace talks with the transitional government.
He affirmed the keenness of the parties to reach a negotiated lasting peace agreement.
"We can achieve peace within the agreed time frame on the 15 of February".
Further, he said the committee charged with the participation of the displaced people in the peace process visited most of the Darfur camps, adding that the humanitarian issues will be discussed in the presence of representatives of stakeholders.
Criticism of SRF leader
Following the press conference, Minnawi posted a second tweet where he slammed the participation of the SRF leader in the press conference with the head of the government negotiating team.
"I do not know how and why my boss responds to my Tweets at a time when the government owns all private and public media," wrote Minnawi in response to Idriss's statements at the joint press conference.
"A new beginning of divide and rule policy".
"The important thing is that we returned to Juba, and we will see to what positions that this government is remaining committed".
After the regime change and during the talks between the military council and the FFC on the transitional intuitions, Minnawi called to delay the formation of the civilian government until the signing of a peace agreement to allow them to participate in the Sovereign Council and the cabinet.