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Sudan, Darfur rebels start informal talks in Ethiopia

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January 23, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government and two armed groups - the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement - Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) - Saturday have started informal consultations in Ethiopian town of Debre Zeit, located at 50km from the Capital Addis Ababa.

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Head of government delegation for talks for peace in Darfur Amin Hassan Omer speaks to reporters in Addis Ababa on Friday 20 November 2015 (ST Photo)

After the failure of the last round of talks in November 2015, the African Union mediation team thought to organize informal discussions far from the media between the parties in a bid to build confidence allow better understanding for the different positions.

The deputy head of Sudan diplomatic mission in Addis Ababa, Ambassador Hamza Omer Hassan confirmed the arrival of the head of Darfur office Amin Hassan Omer who is also the government chief negotiator on Darfur file.

Hassan told the official SUNA the two parties have began the discussions on Saturday, adding that this round of informal discussions is the continuation of last November talks.

The mediators propose the signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement between the warring parties in Darfur, and an agreement on humanitarian access before to hold a national dialogue preparatory meeting with the government and the other opposition forces.

The government says ready the rebel groups have to join the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), and negotiate security agreement. But, JEM and SLM-MM demand to open the framework agreement and renegotiate à number of issues.

The joint rebel delegation is led by Minnawi has also reached the venue in Ethiopia.

JEM deputy secretary for external relations Seid Charif Jar al-Nabi in a statement issued Saturday said that "issues related to the regions affected by the war and its consequences are to be resolved through negotiations between the warring parties".

Jar al-Nabi further the national issues should be discussed in an equal national dialogue conference including all the political forces and civil society groups.

(ST)

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