14 April 2013

Sudan: NCP Ready for Direct Negotiations With SPLM-N, Says Official

Khartoum — The the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) announced his party's willingness to negotiate with the rebels Sudanese People Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) to achieve peace in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

The head of the NCP committee on foreign relations, Ibrahim Ghandour, said in a press conference held on Sunday in Khartoum that his government contacted the African mediation team affirming its readiness to start dialogue with the rebel movement.

"We are ready for negotiations with the SPLM-N and awaiting (the mediation) to fix a date for the start of talsk", he said.

Ghandour stressed that negotiations with the SPLM-N will be conducted under the auspices of the African Union and international intervention won't be allowed.

In the past Sudanese government refused to hold direct talks with the SPLM-N until the latter formally disengage politically and militarily with South Sudan ruling party.

The SPLM-N expressed willingness to negotiate with Khartoum and said it is ready to sign a cessation of hostilities agreement conditional upon Khartoum's acceptance to allow access to humanitarian aid to civilians in the rebel held areas.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) issued resolution 2046 in May 2012 demanding Sudan and the SPLM-N to engage direct talks in order to end the conflict in the two regions.

Under the resolution, the two parties are supposed to negotiate on the basis of the 28 June 2011 agreement they signed in Addis Ababa before it was scrapped by Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir.

Last month, Sudan's defense minister confirmed Khartoum's new position that it is "ready to negotiate with the SPLM-N" but only based on the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

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