The ongoing peace talks between Sudan’s transitional government and rebel groups in Juba has come to a halt as a key rebel grouping has refused to negotiate with Khartoum, claiming government forces are still attacking its territory, reported VOA News.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir had arranged for the latest round of negotiation talks between Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok’s government and delegates from two umbrella groups of rebels who fought now ousted president Omar Al Bashir’s forces in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement–Northern sector (SPLM-N) released a statement on Wednesday in which it said that government forces had attacked an area under its control in South Kordofan, southwestern Sudan, and announced it was withdrawing from talks which began in South Sudanese capital on Monday.
Addressing the reporters in Juba on Wednesday, Amar Amoua, SPLM-North’s Secretary General and spokesperson for the group, said his group will not take part in any peace talks until there is a full investigation into the attack.
Amoua said Sudanese government forces bombarded several areas of the Nuba Mountains since last 10 days despite an unofficial cease-fire. He added that a chief was killed in the Nuba Mountains and several businessmen had gone missing.
“The government should withdraw its forces and stop … occupying new areas, we will not allow that,” the spokesperson said.
He said the group would return to the negotiating table only when there is a complete ceasefire across the entire country, government forces are withdrawn from the attacked area, and all prisoners arrested during the operation are released.
Dhieu Mathok, a member of Juba’s mediation team, said they were investigating the SPLM-N’s complaints but would not cease the peace talks.
“We are still investigating whether there are really attacks in those areas or not, but this will not stop the peace process,” Mathok said.