Rebel team meets in Khartoum leaders from Nuba Mountains, civil society

Dec 8, 2003 (SUNA)

The people's movement [rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement, SPLM/A] delegation today held a series of meetings which included meetings with leaders from Nuba Mountains [central Sudan], the alliance [opposition National Democratic Alliance, NDA] secretariat and a number of civil society organizations.

Edward Lino, a member of the delegation said in a press statement that the meeting with the leaders of the Nuba Mountains underscored the need for unity and cooperation to meet the challenges of the new era and stressed the method of war should end. The meeting also stressed the need for serious steps to achieve peace.

Lino commented about the ongoing [peace] negotiations and said the talks between [Vice-President Ali Uthman Muhammad] Taha and [SPLM leader, John] Garang were going on well and making progress.

Yasir Arman [SPLM/A spokesman] stressed the meeting with the leaders of the Nuba Mountains was in preparation for a national consensus among the people of the region over the issues of the transitional phase.

Concerning the meeting with the alliance secretariat, Arman told journalists the meeting discussed current and future issues between the movement [SPLM/A] and the national alliance [NDA]. The meeting also discussed aspects of the peace issue and the democratic transformation - two central issues that are of interest to the alliance.

The head of the delegation, Pagan Amum, said an agreement was reached in the meeting with the civil society organizations to redouble efforts to bring about development in the whole of Sudan. This meeting also focused on the peace issue and the need to give it more priority during this stage, stressing it should be comprehensive and just.

In a related development, Yasir Arman said their delegation contacted men of the Sufi orders [Islamic mystical sects], considering their important role in protecting the social fabric and strengthening cooperation between the various religions.