Sudan: Juba - Conflicting Views On Progress of Sudan Peace Talks

Juba — The government and Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) confirmed that there is great progress in the ongoing peace talks in Juba the capital of South Sudan. The head of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM), Minni Minawi, claims that there is a setback in the current peace negotiations.

On Friday, the head of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM), Minni Minawi revealed that there has been a great setback in the peace talks regarding Darfur track. On Friday, Minawi wrote on his Facebook account that "Without shame, the government delegation repudiated all issues that we agreed on. Unfortunately, historically that what they have done repeatedly".

The (SLM-MM) head of the movement's negotiating delegation, Mohamed Abunumou stated that they observed changes in the government's position. He added that "we strikingly noticed the changes and the hardened of the government's positions in issues that are deemed as basic and simple."

Abunumou told Dabanga Radio that the government's positions made their previous optimism shrunk and they became more cautious. He further explained that based on initial consultations and confidence-building arrangements we hoped for a swift and better outcome for everyone.

However, it is too early to judge the spirit of optimism to be dissipated, stressing that peace is a strategic goal for everyone and it cannot be reversed, he added.

Mediation team

In a press statement Friday evening, the head of the South Sudanese mediation team, Tut Galuak explained that the negotiating parties stopped at the necessity to create a land commission. The negotiating parties decided to follow up on the establishment of the land commission with legal experts to determine its mandate. "On Saturday, the negotiations will continue on the transitional justice paper," Tut added.

On Friday afternoon, the government delegation headed by Mohamed Hasan El Taayshi and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) for the Darfur track continued negotiations on the power-sharing, in particular, the land issue.

El Taayshi stated that the negotiations made tangible progress in complicated issues related to power sharing and lands. He further explained that the land issue is complicated because it is associated with old conflicts and thus it needs further discussion. He also added that there is a committee of experts working to develop a vision for the issues regarding power-sharing in Darfur where the parties will resume within two days.

El Taayshi denied that the government delegation withdrew from any of the issues agreed upon; stressing that there was no reason for the government delegation to back down. He expressed the government's readiness to make all concessions for the sake of peace.

He said that the differences concerning the Darfur track are about the system of government, levels of governing and reform within the defect in the civil service. These issues were transferred to a technical committee to deal with it.

El Taayshi said that the delay in the discussion occurred due to objective differences and differing perceptions in certain issues. He pointed out that there remains one point in the land issue that has been postponed for legal consultation. On Saturday, the two parties will begin negotiating the issue of justice and reconciliation.

Given the situation on the ground, in case, the government decided to appoint states civilians governors it will temporarily appointments until a peace agreement can be signed, El Taayshi said.

He said the vacuum and the dismantling of the 'deep state' necessitated the appointments in the civil service. He further explained that an agreement between the negotiating parties will determine this matter in the future.

El Taayshi attributed the return of the Chadian mediator to urgent circumstances in Chad, mediator notified all mediation teams that will return soon.

El Sadig Adam, a member of Sudan's Supreme Peace Council and a member of the government delegation, clarified that the transitional government did not back down from any previous agreements in the Darfur track, especially the framework agreement, and the protocol regarding the inclusion of stakeholders in the Juba peace talks. The Friday's session was about the land issue (El Hawakeer).

SRF

On Friday, the government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front delegation held a press conference regarding the progress of the peace negotiations in Juba. In the press conference El Hadi Idris, chairman of the Sudan Revolutionary Front, affirmed that the Juba negotiations on the Darfur track are proceeding as usual. He rebutted the existence of any delay or slowdown from any party regarding the ongoing peace talks. He revealed that there is a possibility of signing an agreement on the North track Within the coming two days and the resumption of negotiations on the Eastern track in the coming days.

El Hadi asserted that the Sudan Revolutionary Front is united and there is no conflict within SRF, he added. He said, however, any party within SRF has the right to express his or her opinion. He further explained that formal SRF statement that there are no differences between the negotiating parties that can hinder the ongoing peace process.

The negotiating parties are eager to reach a comprehensive peace agreement. He highlighted that there are different views between the negotiating parties regarding the transitional period and the unification of the Darfur region as it was with its geographical borders. Within a day and a half, the negotiations achieved great progress in the land and hawakeer issues and we expect a breakthrough in the coming days, he added.

El Hadi confirmed that the committee that formed by the government, SRF and UN-AU Mission in Darfur (Unamid) visited all camps in Darfur, except for three bases in South and East Darfur. He explained that all the displaced people camps have selected their representatives to participate in the conference that expected to be held soon. The discussion about the humanitarian issue will begin when the representatives of the displaced people arrive, he said.

Mohamed Bakheet, a member of the negotiating delegation of the Justice and Equality Movement, stated that the appointment of civilian governors and the legislative council violated the Juba Declaration. He stressed that SRF adheres to its negotiating position. "I hope we soon reach an agreement to avoid the need of appointing governors," Bakheet said.

El Tahir Hajar, head of the Sudan Liberation Forces Alliance at the press conference denied rumours that the disagreements are about the reintegration of the Rapid Support Force into the Sudanese armed forces. "The negotiating parties have not even started the security arrangements issue yet," El Tahir said.

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