The peace talks between the Sudan transitional government and opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) were suspended on Tuesday to allow parties to undertake further consultations.
Tut Gatluak Manime, head of South Sudan’s mediation team said the parties have not reached agreement on adoption of a secular state as demanded by SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz Al-Hilu.
The parties are also yet to agree on a security arrangement that includes disbanding Rapid Support Forces (RSF) troops led by deputy chairperson of the Sudan Sovereign Council Mohamed Hamdan Daqlu.
“We have postponed the talks for two weeks, the suspension will allow the parties to do further consultation at the lower levels of leadership of the two parties,” Gatluak told journalists in Juba.
The peace talks between the parties being mediated by President Salva Kiir resumed on May 26.
In October 2020, Sudan’s transitional government signed a peace deal with several rebel groups to end decades of conflict in the restive Darfur region.
Al-Hilu’s group based in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions participated in negotiations leading up to last year’s peace deal but did not sign the final peace agreement.
“The first choice for the SPLM-N is to separate the state from religion and build trust among the Sudanese people. The talks are being delayed by few outstanding issues but the next sitting will lead to a comprehensive peace agreement,” said Gatluak.
Meanwhile, Shams-Eddin Kabashi, Sudan government lead negotiator, expressed optimism of reaching a final peace deal with SPLM-N, despite having differences on some sticking issues.
“We have (political) differences but the spirit for negotiating is positive, the exchange between the two sides will help in achieving comprehensive and just peace,” said Kabashi.
Hamar Amun, SPLM-N secretary general said that they have agreed on 80 percent of issues, adding that they hope to conclude the remaining tasks when talks resume in July.
“We have to continue negotiating in good spirit, we have to stop war, the past governments have poisoned all generations with war, destruction and displacement. We have to resolve issues once and for all,” said Amun.