Sudanese parties endorse mediation proposals for framework on the Two Areas
November 15, 2014 (Sudan Tribune)
The Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) endorsed on Saturday all the proposals made by the African mediation paving way for the signing a framework agreement on the conflict in the Two Areas.
Following the long discussions held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) agreed with the two parties to hold a meeting on Sunday to approve the draft agreement ahead of the signing.
Both sides confirmed to Sudan Tribune the breakthrough reached in the talks. The two sides, however, said they await to read the draft that the AUHIP will submit during Sunday’s meeting, to be held at 05:00pm local time.
The head of the Sudanese government delegation, Ibrahim Ghandour, rejected on Friday a new draft agreement presented by the mediation as it includes a number of additional points particularly a roadmap by the African peace and security body aiming to facilitate the participation of rebels in the national dialogue.
On Saturday, however, Ghandour informed the AUHIP that his government accepts the roadmap of the African Union Peace and Security Council included in its decision number 456 of 12 September.
A member of the government delegation who spoke to Sudan Tribune on the condition of anonymity said the delegations and the mediation started to review the draft agreement, approving it point by point.
"We finished at five o'clock and the mediators vowed to submit the final draft on Sunday if they fail to do that on Saturday night in order to prepare for Sunday’s meeting," he said.
The source further said that a number of points were discussed, adding that the parties entrusted the mediation with the editing of the reached compromises.
Multiples sources from both sides told Sudan Tribune that the government delegation refused to include "Paris Declaration" in the framework agreement, but suggested to use another formulation referring to this agreement between the rebel groups and the National Umma Party.
The parties also agreed to discard the mention to the tripartite humanitarian agreement from the framework agreement and agreed instead to negotiate a new deal, as they diverge on its implementation.
On security arrangements, the two parties also agreed to use the expression "cessation of hostilities and comprehensive ceasefire agreement". Previously, the rebels refused a ceasefire agreement at this stage of the talks while Khartoum rejected any truce.
The Sudanese government also accepted the all parties conference that the headquarters of the African Union has proposed in the African roadmap. Initially, Khartoum said it would be difficult to move over 600 people to Addis Ababa.
This preparatory meeting, which will be facilitated by the AUHIP, should reach a framework agreement for the national dialogue, including the general elections and the transitional period.
It will also discuss the guarantees enabling the rebels to return to Khartoum.
The two parties agreed that the text of the framework agreement should refer to the who process by citing the AUPSC decision number 456.
The spokesperson of the SPLM-N negotiating delegation, Mubarak Ardol, issued a statement on Saturday night denying reports released in Khartoum saying the rebel group accepted to discard the Paris Declaration from the framework agreement.
"We will sign an agreement, only after the government approval of the roadmap signed by the forces of Paris Declaration and the (national dialogue committee ) 7+7. Also we will not accept attempts aiming to exclude the SRF forces, DUP and the other opposition forces," Ardol said.
He accused "the security apparatus" of the ruling National Congress Party of fabricating half-truths and rumours about what was going on at the negotiating table
He said the cessation of hostilities in South Kordofan and Blue Nile will take place within the framework of the roadmap included in the AU decision 456, which provides to hold two tracks within one peace process.
He further underscored that the ongoing discussions were part of efforts to achieve comprehensive peace and democratic change in the country.
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