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Press Release from Dr John Garang de Mabior Chairman and C-in-C of SPLM/A on SPLM goodwill visit to Khartoum

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PRESS STATEMENT

(3rd December 2003)

Next tomorrow, Friday December 5th, the SPLM will send a goodwill mission to Khartoum, our national Capital. The SPLM delegation will touch down at Khartoum International Airport around 3 PM that day, and I call upon the people of Khartoum to receive your delegation at the airport. This is a goodwill initiative from the SPLM aimed at consolidating and making the peace process irreversible, and thus boosting the chances for achieving a fair and just peace in our country.

The visit will build confidence among the people of Sudan, help in initiating the process of national healing and reconciliation, and contribute toward building national consensus around the peace agreement through dialogue between the SPLM visiting delegation and all the political forces and civil society groups in Khartoum including the ruling National Congress Party. The visit and dialogue will ensure participation and inclusiveness of all political forces and civil society groups in the peace process, and thus expedite the process of democratic transformation of the country. The SPLM delegation will therefore be the guest of all the people of Khartoum, and will hold consultations and dialogue with all political and civil society groups, including youth and women. The SPLM gives special attention to women, who are the "marginalized of the marginalized". The SPLM delegation will also initiate a process of dialogue with all religious leaders in Khartoum.

The visit comes at the beginning of the present round of IGAD talks in order to create a positive atmosphere which could help the negotiating teams to successfully resolve the remaining outstanding issue. This visit is not part of the IGAD peace process, but rather an SPLM initiative that is meant to firmly and irreversibly commit the parties to a negotiated and just political settlement. It is a goodwill message to the SPLM to the Sudanese people inside the country and in the Diaspora, as well as to the region and the International community that the Movement is committed to peaceful settlement and to inclusiveness and democratic transformation of the country.

The SPLM delegation will freely interact with all the political forces and civil society groups in Khartoum. While in Khartoum the SPLM delegation will also seek possible ways and means to declare its presence and establish SPLM offices in Khartoum.

Dr John Garang de Mabior

Chairman and C-in-C, SPLM/A

SPLM/A GHQ, New Sudan

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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