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Sudan Ruling Council, Rebel Groups Agree To Resume Negotiation Talks On Saturday

Sudanese ruling council and rebel groups on Friday agreed to resume the negotiation talks that were suspended earlier this week, reported Reuters.

The mediators, Sudanese government representatives and leaders of the rebel SPLM-North faction and two smaller Sudanese rebel groups held a three-hour meeting in South Sudan’s Juba and announced an agenda for the talks. The parties agreed that the focus of the negotiations would be political issues first, followed by humanitarian concerns and security arrangements.

“The parties have agreed on categorizing and sequencing the negotiation issues as follows: one, political issues; two, humanitarian issues; three, security arrangements,” Sudan government spokesman Mohammed Hassan Alteishi told reporters. “Second, the parties have agreed on the necessity to agree on declaration of principles.”

He added that the government is ready to start discussions on Saturday on the three points agreed upon.

The peace talks began on Monday with an aim to end years-long conflicts, a prerequisite for the United States to remove Sudan from its list of sponsors of terrorism. Also, transitional authorities have set a six-month deadline for making peace with the rebel groups.

 But, the SPLM-N, a rebel group in the southern states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, suspended the talks on Wednesday as it accused Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Force of occupying new area and attacking and arresting traders. The government denied having a role in any attacks in the area and said the incident involved traders and cattle herders.

In an interview with Reuters, SPLM-N spokesman Al-Jack Mahmoud Al-Jack said that the government had agreed to the group’s demands to restart talks.

“We suspended the negotiations due to the violations committed by the government,” Jack said. “The government has withdrawn its forces … and it declared cessation of hostilities plus released the detained people.”

The negotiation talks are likely to resume on Saturday.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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