27 April 2014

Sudan: U.S. Envoy, Opposition Leader in Addis Ababa to Encourage Stalled Peace Talks

Khartoum — US special envoy for the two Sudans, and the leader of the opposition Reform Now Party (RNP) were Saturday at the venue of the stalled peace talks between the government and the rebels of Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

Donald Booth, in an attempt to converge the view of the two parties, met with the head of the Sudanese government delegation and presidential aide Ibrahim Ghandour. But no statement was released after the meeting.

RNP leader Ghazi Salah Al-Deen Al-Attabani was also at the venue of talks in Addis Ababa upon an invitation from the head of the African Union (AU) mediation team, Thabo Mbeki, and met with Ghandour and the SPLM-N's lead negotiator, Yasir Arman .

In a statement he issued, Attabani praised the efforts exerted by the chief mediator Mbeki stressing that "ending war and achieving peace are the real cure for the problems of Sudan".

He further said the two parties are willing to overcome obstacles despite the existing differences.

STRUGGLING FOR FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT

Since the resumption of talks on 22 April, the two negotiating parties failed to finalise a framework agreement for the talks based on a draft proposed by the AUHIP mediators on 18 February.

However, the mediation refused a demand by the SPLM-N to include Darfur stressing that the process should negotiate only the conflict in the Two Areas.

In return, the SPLM-N rejected the draft framework agreement, pointing that UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2046 and the following resolutions issued by the AU state that negotiations between the two sides must be based on a framework agreement signed on 28 June 2011 but Khartoum denounced it on 3 July of the same year.

Sources close to the talks in Addis Ababa told Sudan Tribune that Mbeki proposed Saturday that the 28 June agreement remains valid for the negotiations of political and security matters and will demand them to agree on the reference points of the discussions pertaining to humanitarian assistance and national dialogue.

The 28 June agreement provides that the SPLM-N should participate in the democratic transition process jointly with the NCP.

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