December 1, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese government disclosed that consultations were taking place in Addis Ababa to determine the positions of Darfur rebel combatants within the framework of a cessation of hostilities agreement to signed with the armed groups.
- State minister Amin Hassan Omer (L) briefs EU diplomats in Khartoum about the Roadmap Agreement and Darfur Administrative Referendum on 20 April 2016 (ST Photo)
Talks between the government and two armed groups in Darfur, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM), over a humanitarian cessation of hostilities are deadlocked since last August.
The government demands the armed groups should provide all the details to localise the positions of their fighters on the ground, a matter the rebels refuse before the signing of ceasefire agreement. Khartoum also rejects a demand by the two groups to monitor the humanitarian operations in the region. The release of Prisoners of War (POW) and the Doha framework agreement were also among the outstanding issues.
In press statements after a meeting with the U.S. Special Envoy Donald Booth who is currently in Khartoum, the Head of Darfur Peace Office and Government Chief Negotiator Amin Hassan Omer Wednesday said they are holding discussions with JEM and SLM-MM to determine the positions of their fighters in Darfur.
He said that these consultations would wrap up on Wednesday evening.
“There is an initial agreement that the determination of troop positions will be fixed by the African Union based on established standards for determination of military positions,” he said.
According to the Sudanese official, the meeting with Booth discussed the resumption of negotiations on the cessation of hostilities and the humanitarian access.
Omer reiterated the government keenness to achieve peace, stressing that Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) should be considered as the basis of negotiations.
“We briefed the Special Envoy about the outcome of the informal consultations as we reached an agreement on three of the four issues. And now remains a fundamental issue related to the DDPD which is the basis for future negotiations,” he said.
The chief negotiator further pointed that JEM recently released prisoners who had been jailed in South Sudan, adding that his government released JEM child soldiers.
“We agreed that the release of POW who are not yet tried can be considered according to the progress of dialogue between the two parties and the resumption of peace process,” Omer said.
Before to meet Omer, Booth was received by the Sudanese Presidential Assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid who heads government delegation for peace talks with the SPLM-N over the five-year conflict in Sudan’s Two Areas.
The official news agency SUNA reported that the meeting discussed the ongoing efforts to reach a cessation of hostilities agreement within the African Union brokered Roadmap Agreement signed by the government rebel groups and National Umma Party.
Omer announced that the Head of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Thabo Mbeki would visit Khartoum within the upcoming days to discuss the resumption of peace talks with the Sudanese officials.
Mbeki’s visit had been several times announced in the past months.
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