Mediation postpones initialling Sudan-armed groups peace deal

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July 14, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The initialling of the peace agreement between the Sudanese government and the armed has been delayed until a later date, due to the killing of a number of civilians in North Darfur and the need to strike a deal on the security arrangements.

"We decided to postpone the initialling of the agreement on the agreed issues because the peace process has not been completed. Actually, still, we have the security arrangements to be negotiated," the South Sudanese mediator, Dhieu Matouk, told a press conference in Khartoum on Tuesday.

Matouk further said that the parties were expected to initial the agreement on the Key National Issues on Tuesday. however, the mediation found that it is not necessary to initial this deal.

For its part, the Sudanese Revolutionary Front announced that the initialling of the peace agreement will take place after the conclusion of an agreement on security arrangements and the other outstanding issues.

SRF spokesperson, Osama Saeed, stressed that "the Key National Issues are part of the national issues chapter some of it will be agreed during the upcoming negotiations in Juba."

Great crime

Al-Hadi Idris, head of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, told Sudan Tribune that the initialling of the Key National Issues agreement in Khartoum was not planned because the talks had not ended yet.

He stressed that what happened in Fata Borno would have pushed them to postpone the initialling, even if the peace agreement was finalized, stressing that it was "a great crime" deserving stop on it and identify the perpetrators before to bring them to justice.

"Repeating such attacks will undermine the peace process. So, the government must send a political delegation and an investigation committee from the Office of the Attorney General to find out who carried out this heinous attack."

The SRF leader further said that the signing of any agreement should take place in Juba, the venue of the peace process.

"We proposed to the mediator to initial in Juba the key national issues agreed recently, if there was a need for this, although we see that it is better to reach an agreement on security arrangements first".

Al-Hadi said the remaining issues in the security arrangements are the formation of the joint forces, the period required to restructure the national army and the tasks of the joint forces, stressing that "all these issues need a political decision".

Peace is security arrangements

For his part, Noraldaem Taha, Rapporteur of the SLM-MM’s negotiating delegation and the Minnawi’s Adviser for Media and Public Relations, stressed their refusal to initial an agreement without security arrangements.

"There will be no initialling of a peace agreement unless an agreement is reached on the security arrangements. And any statement other than that is just a public relation statement".

He further said that what occurred in Fata Borno confirms the validity of what we want.

"Peace for us is good security arrangements that provide protection for the displaced, and according to which the government armed forces are restructured to form a national army that achieves peace and stability in the country."

Taha pointed out that there are parties that have an interest in escalating tribal violence, without accusing a specific group. He called on the people of Darfur disregard these attempts and to come together to wrest their rights from the Center, as he said.

Mathouk said the mediation team will return to Juba on Wednesday accompanied by a military delegation to discuss the security arrangements with the armed groups in Juba.

Also, he said that the SPLM-N Agar has one pending item in the security arrangements with the government. While the SRF Darfur groups have several items.

He underscored that negotiations on the security arrangements between the government and the SLM-MM will start from scratch.

The armed group which broke away from the SRF refused to discuss security arrangements through videoconference meetings.

Matouk revealed that they received positive messages from the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur after he had been invited to join the Juba process at the beginning of negotiations.

He said they encourage al-Nur to negotiate in Khartoum.

The holdout rebel leader announced his intention to return to Sudan where he plans to hold a national conference for peace in Sudan.