Home | Press Releases    Monday 25 August 2003

The Nakuru draft framework remains the only basis for negotiations

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SPLM/SPLA Press Release

Contrary to reports emanating from the Khartoum media and attributed to Presidential Advisor on Peace Ghazi Salah El Din Atabani and others that the Nakuru Draft Framework on the Outstanding Issues arising from the Elaboration of the Machakos Protocol has been sidelined during the last seventh session of the Sudan Peace Talks in Mount Kenya Safari Club, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA) begs to disagree. It is true that no meaningful progress was made in the last talks mainly due to procedural matters which were deliberately created by Khartoum to derail the peace process.

The SPLM/SPLA clearly restated its position as initially presented by the mediators that the Draft Framework Document is the only basis on which the Movement can directly engage the Government of Sudan (GOS) to address the outstanding issues for the resolution of the Sudan conflict. The GOS on the other hand refused to discuss on the basis of the Draft Framework and insisted that the Draft be sidelined completely so that discussions could go on in vacuum without any agenda. According to the National Islamic Front (NIF) convoluted thinking, the parties could pick up any issue and discuss it without sequence as long as the issues so picked pertain to the maintenance of the unity of Sudan. Of course, this haphazard approach by Khartoum rulers was not accepted to the SPLM/SPLA as well as the majority of the mediators since the talks would not be holistic as presented in the Framework.

Because of the obstructive position on procedural issues adopted by Khartoum, the talks could not continue despite tremendous efforts by the SPLM/SPLA to save the talks. The talks were therefore bound to be adjourned. Infact, in an effort to save its face, the GOS delegation requested for a break in the talks so as to consult with their principals in Khartoum who themselves are divided over their approach to the resolution of the conflict.

The IGAD mediators agreed to their request and the SPLM/SPLA obliged with the hope that the consultation will result in breaking the impasse created by the GOS in the first place. Consequently, the SPLM/SPLA would like to put the record straight and hope that the two weeks of consultation requested by GOS will bear fruits. It is time the Khartoum rulers abandon their culture of rhetoric and open lies to the Sudanese public. The truth of the matter is that the talks will resume in Kenya after two weeks on the basis of the Framework Document.

Therefore, assertions in the NIF controlled media by Ghazi Salah El Din Atabani and the other members of the GOS delegation to the Nyanyuki talks that the last three days of negotiation were successful because the Framework Document was sidelined is false.

Finally, the SPLM/SPLA would like to assure the Sudanese people in particular and the international community in general that the Movement is committed to the IGAD mediation and will not be swayed by Khartoum to seek other fora including the so-called proposed All-Party Conference in Khartoum. We are also committed to avoiding any propaganda and media campaign that may harm the coming negotiations and the peace process in general.

Dr. Samson L. Kwaje
Commissioner for Information
and Official Spokesman SPLM/SPLA

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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