Five more armed groups set to join Sudan peace talks

Thursday October 17 2019

peace talks

From left: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, President of Sudanese Transitional Council General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, President of South Sudan Salva Kiir and Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni attend a meeting to endorse the peace talks between Sudan's government and rebel leaders in Juba, South Sudan, on October 14, 2019. PHOTO | PETER LOUIS | AFP 

By The EastAfrican

The Sudan peace talks going on in Juba, South Sudan have received a significant boost after five rebel movements signalled their intention to join the negotiations.

About 2,500 kilometers away in Addis Ababa days earlier the groups that are not part of the Juba Declaration that is guiding the talks between the transition government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front formed a new alliance on Sunday.

After their four-day meeting under the auspices of the African International Peace Institute, the alliance met with a member of the Sudan Sovereign Council, Mohammed Hassan al-Ta’ayshi and expressed readiness to negotiate for sustainable peace.

The special conference for the armed resistance movements in Sudan was held between October 9 and 13 “in order to strengthen and ensure the national unity of the homeland.”

The United Revolutionary Forces led by Hafez Ibrahim, Mansour Arbab’s New Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement; Justice and Equality Movement Democracy of Idris Azrag, National Movement for Reform and Development led by Alsadig Ali Shayboo and the Kordofan Development Group of Omer Siraj Aldeen formed the Sudanese Alliance for Change.

The talks in Juba entered a third day Wednesday with the parties not going beyond the initial arrangements contained in the September declaration.

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It was understood that RUF chaired by Alhadi Idris, asked for time to conclude its internal discussions before the mediation by South Sudan President Salva Kiir could start.

President Kiir’s team was also preparing proposals for distribution to the parties once the RUF concluded its consultations. Insiders said the items for negotiation would include power, wealth and security arrangements.

The RUF alliance includes about 6 armed factions and the SPLM (Sector North) factions led by Abdulaziz Al-Helw and Malik Agar.

At the start of the talks on Monday, mediators started consulting the parties separately on a single negotiation document.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Uganda are backing South Sudan in the effort to end the conflicts in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. With Khartoum and more rebel groups expressing their desire for stability, hopes are high that the worst could just be behind Sudan.

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