Khartoum and SPLM-N near peace deal: Mbeki
November 17, 2014 (Radio Tamazuj)
The head of the African Union panel mediating between the Sudanese government and the rebel SPLM-N has disclosed that the parties are close to concluding an agreement on the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
He further stressed that these negotiations will be "synchronised" with negotiations on the Darfur region, stressing there is "only one process, but two tracks".
Thabo Mbeki, chairman of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), announced in Addis Ababa on Monday that the parties agreed to adjourn the talks temporarily at the request of the mediation in order to have time to study proposals made by the mediation.
He said they adjourned for "a few days" without setting a specific date for resuming the talks. The parallel meeting on the Darfur region, between the Sudanese government and the Darfur rebel movements, will resume on 23 November.
"We adjourn with really a lot of confidence that we are not too far from concluding an agreement," said Mbeki. "So we can say we have moved a good way forward towards concluding the negotiations."
The mediator also disclosed that they handed some "additional documents" to the parties with newly proposed elements to be included in a cessation of hostilities agreement. He said it is important to give the parties some time to reflect and to consult on these proposals.
'One process, two tracks'
According to the chief mediator, the delegates agreed with him that there is one process, but two tracks, that lead to peace in Darfur, and in the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile).
"We will also start the second track between the government of Sudan and the Darfur rebel movements. Field commanders from Darfur are prepared for their engagements in these negotiations, later this month. We will come back on this on 23 November."
Mbeki said that the two tracks would be synchronised. It does not mean that the peace agreement for Darfur and the Two Areas will necessarily be signed on the same day, but the contents of the underlying documents will be shared, to prove that there is a comprehensive peace agreement, the chairman explained.
Ahmed Mohammed, the Darfur movement’s chief negotiator, told Radio Tamazuj today that their field commanders have begun a workshop today in Addis Ababa, on the possibilities for a cessation of hostilities agreement. The workshop is scheduled to last for three days.
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