29 July 2012

Sudan: Bleak Prospects for Sudan's Talks On S. Kordofan and Blue Nile

Photo: http://www.un.org
Displaced by conflict.

Khartoum — Indirect negotiations between Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement -North (SPLM-N) might fail at any time as the two parties continue to trade accusations over their commitment to end the one-year political and humanitarian crisis.

In implementation of an African Union road map and a UN resolution 2046, the mediators convened delegations from the government and the SPLM-N rebels to engage indirect talks over humanitarian access and political talks in Addis Ababa.

The SPLM-N rebels who keep sending reassuring signs to their allies of Darfur rebel groups denied political negotiations with Khartoum saying they are in Addis Ababa for consultations with the mediators.

On the humanitarian track, the government delegation rejected SPLM-N's demand to be involved in the humanitarian operation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile even, if it is conducted in the rebel held areas. The government accuses the rebel group of being interested in the food to feed its fighters.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune from Addis Ababa, a Sudanese government official who declined to be identified said the indirect talks between the two delegation might collapse at any time due to the wide divergence in view and continued accusations between the two sides.

The head of Sudanese government delegation Kamal Obeid released Saturday a strong statement criticising press statements by the SPLM-N secretary general Yasir Arman who denied the existence of political talks.

Kamal also refuted a statement by Arman who said that the government is not serious to end the humanitarian crisis because it wants to links the two tracks. The SPLM-N said Khartoum refuses the implementation of the tripartite operation because it wants a political agreement before.

The head of the Sudanese delegation in his long communiqué said Arman's statements are "full of fallacies, contradictions and misrepresentation of information aiming only to mislead domestic and global public opinion."

The Sudanese delegation told the rebels it refuses they participation in the humanitarian operation because they are in a state of war with the sovereign government.

Kamal said the rebel group want to get the humanitarian aid to feed its troops who are no longer receive any provisions and supplies. He added that it is the SPLM-N which is not serious about peace and safety of civilians.

UN Secretary General special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Haile Menkerios, stated two day that the humanitarian talks are suspended by the mediators as there is strong difference between the two parties.

Menkerios added they prefer for the moment to focus of the political track and then resume the humanitarian talks when some progress are achieved.

The sources said the Sudanese negotiating team which submitted its proposals to the mediation on Saturday, refused any discussion over power sharing or wealth sharing.

Khartoum position paper also demanded the rebel group to disarm its fighters and to compete through an electoral process for any political participation.

Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir relieved Malik Agar, SPLM-N chairman, from his position as governor of Blue Nile state. He was the only governor, not affiliated to the ruling National Congress Party to be elected during April 2010 elections.

SPLM-N says he should be reinstated in his position.

Arab League representative in the humanitarian talks Sudan Salah Halimah underscored the need for a speedy agreement on the implementation of the tripartite initiative stressing that the situation on the ground does not permit further delay.

In Khartoum, a group of Sudanese clerics denounced, during the sermon of last Friday prayer the government for negotiating with the SPLM-N, terming the talks as "humiliation". They also described the SPLM-N leader as "traitors and agents".

The preachers pointed out that SPLM-N leaders are hostile to Islamic Sharia law, and want to spread the secularism in the country.

The Clerics further said the government has completely surrendered to the USA whenit accepted the resolution 2046 which "considers 11 Sudanese locations as deputed areas".

They further said the government is negotiating with a foreign political party implementing South Sudan's agenda and takes instructions from President Salva Kiir, US administration and Israel.

The radical Islamist groups who demand the government to adopt an Islamic constitution, consider any rapprochement with the SPLM-N as setback in their efforts for the Islamic state. They supported the separation of South Sudan because it was seen as obstacle to their project.

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