Press release: SPLM-N expectations from Khartoum in talks

Addis Ababa
April 24, 2013 (Radio Dabanga)

Following is the text of a statement by the leader of the SPLM-North delegation to Addis Ababa released on 24 April as direct negotiations between the Sudanese government and the rebel group began in the Ethiopian capital:

"Your Excellency, President Thabo Mbeki, Chair of the AUHIP, Your colleague, President Abdul Salami Abubaker, The Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Haile Menkerios, The Representative of IGAD and the Government of Ethiopia, Ambassador Lissane, Observers, The leader of the Sudan government delegation, Ibrahim Ghandor, Members of the two delegations, Ladies and Gentleman of the Press and Media,

On behalf of the SPLM-N delegation, its leadership and rank and file, let me express our deep appreciation to the efforts exerted by the AUHIP and the African Union, the United Nations, the United States and the European Union, and the two Ethiopian Prime Ministers, late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, for your tireless work to reconvene the talks after almost two years since the Sudan government denounced the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement.

The SPLM-N delegation is here today ready and prepared to reach a just and honorable comprehensive peace in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2046 and the subsequent AU communiques and resolutions, and on the basis of the June 28, 2011 Agreement, and in the first place, to address the humanitarian crisis that is putting one million lives at risk. Many have already lost their lives and their dear ones. Straightaway, we would like to express our readiness to negotiate an agreement on a humanitarian cessation of hostilities that will stop the hostilities, open access to deliver humanitarian assistance to the affected civilian population in accordance with international standards, and it will equally add value to put an effective buffer zone between the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, aware of the fact that the SPLM-N is controlling more than 40% of the international border of the Republic of Sudan with the Republic of South Sudan. The SPLM-N is positive and ready to cooperate for a solid demilitarized zone.

The SPLM-N will expect, by starting this negotiation, that the government of Sudan will release more than 600 political detainees, among them many ladies and many of them from the two areas and Darfur that will create a conducive environment for us to proceed ahead. Again the SPLM-N is looking forward to a fruitful negotiation that will resolve the following three issues:

1) The humanitarian crisis.

2) To agree on a national framework as came in the agreement of June 28, 2011 to provide for an inclusive constitutional process to address the historical question, how Sudan is going to be governed, with the participation of all stakeholders, political parties and civil society organizations in a national constitutional conference.

3) To resolve and address the new political and security arrangement in South Kordofan/Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile States.

We see clearly that this negotiation represents a new historical opportunity to realize a just peace and peaceful democratic change that will lead to building a strong new Sudanese state on the basis of equal citizenship. We equally see there is a great opportunity to end the war all over Sudan and in particular from Blue Nile to Darfur by adopting a wider holistic approach. And moreover, to build strategic relations between the two Sudans that will lead eventually to a union between two independent Sudanese states. The two parties need to look seriously into this opportunity during their engagement.

We are ready to start direct negotiations on the basis mentioned earlier. We appreciate your support and look forward to working together."


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