SPLM-N proposes talks on framework agreement about inclusive process for Sudan's constitution

April 25, 2013 (Sudan Tribune)

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) on Wednesday said it is "ready and prepared" to hold direct talks with Khartoum to resolve the humanitarian crisis and reach a framework agreement on an inclusive process on the country's new constitution.

Negotiating teams from the Sudanese government and the rebel SPLM-N on Tuesday held separate consultations with the African Union mediation to prepare the agenda of the negotiations for a political solution to the conflict in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

Sudanese government accepted to engage direct talks with the SPLM-N as it finalized talks with the South Sudan over security issues and oil exportation. Khartoum in the past stipulated that Juba had to disengage with the rebels before sitting at the negotiating table with the rebel movement per the African Union and UN Security Council resolutions.

In a statement released from Addis Ababa, Yasir Arman, SPLM-N Secretary General and top negotiator, said his 15-member delegation is "ready and prepared to reach a just and honorable comprehensive peace" in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2046 and the African Union decisions.

Arman said they expect that the process will deal with three issues particularly the humanitarian crisis in South Kordofan and Blue Nile which affects nearly one million people, according to the UN agencies.

He further said the talks have to set up "a national framework as it 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".

The June 28 framework was swiftly denounced by the Sudanese president few days later under the apparent pressure from the army as it calls to establish political partnership with the rebels. The generals blamed the government for neglecting the disarmament of the SPLM-N fighters before.

Also the framework deal, which was brokered by the African mediation, refers to Machakos Protocol and the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and stresses that the two parties need to work together to implement democratic principles, rule of law, respect of diversity and human rights in Sudan.

The SPLM- N Secretary general also pointed out the need to seal new political and security arrangements in the two states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Arman, also, expressed hope that Khartoum would release over 600 political prisoners form the SPLM-N and Darfur groups saying that such measures can create a suitable atmosphere for the process.

The SPLM-N formed an alliance with Darfur movements since November 2011 and inked with the opposition parties an agreement on a strategy to bring political change in Sudan in January of this year.

Arman in a statement released on Tuesday in Arabic language said the SPLM-N negotiating delegation is coordinating with the other rebels and briefed the opposition parties on their strategy for the peace process.

Presidential assistant Nafie Ali Nafie who signed the framework agreement with SPLM-N leader Malik Agar in June 2011 refused Tuesday to comment on the positions of his government or on the appointment of Arman as chief negotiator by his group.

He however said that the peace process will reach its goals if the two parties start with an open heart and mind and focus their discussions on the issues of the two states.

"If the talks deviate from this path they will not succeed", he added.

Sudanese officials said they are willing to negotiate a solution for the conflict in the Two Areas in accordance with a protocol related to the Blue Nile and South Kordofan and refused to include any national agenda in the talks.

The SPLM-N in the past proposed to hold an inclusive process where Darfur crisis be discussed in the talks but the government and the mediation declined this idea as the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur is agreed to be the framework for the resolution of this conflict.


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