Sudan’s groups urge African mediators to stop negotiation tactic deadlines

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[image: JEM leader Gibril Ibrahim talks to reporters in Addis Ababa on 13
August 2016 (ST Photo)]
September 17, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leader
Gibril Ibrahim Friday disclosed they requested the African Union mediation
to dedicate more time for the preparations of the upcoming round of talks
adding no date has been determined yet for its resumption.

Last August, after a week of negotiations with the government over a
cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access agreements the mediation
suspended the discussions between the warring parties in Sudan’s two areas
and Darfur region.

Sudanese officials recently expected the resumption of talks soon, and
announced a visit by the head of the African Union High Level
Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Thabo Mbeki to Khartoum ahead of the
negotiations.

However , JEM leader who is currently visiting the French capital Paris
told *Sudan Tribune* that no date has been yet determined. He further said
they informed an AUHIP delegation during a recent meeting held in Kampala
they would not join the negotiating table before the good preparations for
the short rounds of negotiations the mediation used to hold.

He said together with Minni Minnawi the leader of Sudan Liberation Movement
faction, they recommended to not call for a new round of talks without good
preparations and making every diplomatic effort to narrow the gaps between
the parties.

Ibrahim further told a limited number of journalists and activists that
they asked the mediation not to set a deadline for the negotiations. " We
told them if there is a problem in the means, the mediation should search
further funding."

"So, no specific date has been fixed for the resumption of negotiations,"
he concluded.

The talks on peace in Darfur between the Sudanese government, JEM and
SLM-MM are stalled over four points: the rebel rejection of the Doha
Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), the determination of the exact
location of their sites, release of the prisoners of war and the
establishment of a mechanism to monitor the delivery of humanitarian
assistance.

JEM leader explained they asked to open the DDPD for negotiations to review
some issues but the government refused. Following what they proposed to
keep the framework agreement aside and to negotiate new deal but the
government also rejected their proposal.

"That means there would be no political or economic discussions and we
would only negotiate security arrangements and power sharing protocols," he
stressed, pointing they are interested in justice and reforms.

According to Ibrahim the mediation held a separate meeting in Kampala with
the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to discuss the differences between
them and the Sudanese government on the humanitarian access, as they
diverge over the delivery of 20% of the aid from Ethiopia.

He confirmed that the Sudan Call groups will meet in Addis Ababa from 25 to
30 September to discuss the preparatory meeting to coordinate positions and
discuss some organizational matters.

Ibrahim who chairs a faction of the Sudan revolutionary Front stressed that
the good coordination between the opposition forces, which include
political and military groups, is needed more than any structural reforms.

He also, the preparatory or the strategic meeting between the government
and opposition groups will discuss the other confidence building measures
besides the humanitarian truce such as the release of prisoners and
ensuring public freedoms through the suspension of the National Security
Act of 2010.

The meeting will discuss the participation of the "Call of Sudan" and other
opposition forces in a comprehensive and genuine national dialogue and how
to enable them to implement its outputs. This requires restructuring the
National Congress Party controlled process in Khartoum, he added.

He regretted that some opposition groups decided to boycott the
negotiations with the government before too fulfill a number of conditions
saying they want to bring these preconditions on the negotiating table.

Some groups of the National Consensus Forces refused to take part in the
African Union brokered negotiations before the creation of a conducive
environment and the acceptance of Bashir’s government to form a
transitional cabinet to implement the outcome of the national dialogue.

(ST)

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