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Sudan says will give SPLM-N al-Hilu "another chance" to reach peace deal

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File photo for Abdel Aziz al-Hlu in the Nuba Mountains on 8 November 2014 (ST Photo)

February 10, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government has expressed readiness to give the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N al-Hilu) a new chance to reach a peace deal in the Two Areas during the coming round of talks.

During the recent round of talks from 1 to 3 February, the Sudanese government and SPLM-N al-Hilu failed to reach a cessation of hostilities agreement.

The mediation delinked the ceasefire and the humanitarian access and focused at this round only on the cessation of hostilities agreement.

However, differences between the sides emerged when Khartoum proposed that the cessation of hostilities be a step towards a permanent ceasefire and humanitarian access.

For its part, the SPLM-N al-Hilu said they want this agreement to be limited to the security arrangement, pointing they are not ready for the political process.

Also, on the humanitarian issue, they reiterated that they want the emergency relief to be delivered from outside Sudan.

Member of Sudan negotiating team Abdel-Rahman Abu Median told the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) Saturday, the next round of talks would seek to achieve an agreement on the steps which will follow the cessation of hostilities in order to reach permanent peace.

He underlined the need to exert more efforts to achieve peace in the country, saying we will give the SPLM-N al-Hilu another chance “because all members of their negotiating team are new to the talks”.

Abu Median renewed the government refusal to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Two Areas from outside Sudan.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the SPLM-N rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, also known as the Two Areas since 2011.

The SPLM-N is now divided into two factions: one led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu and the other led by Malik Agar. The rift emerged several months ago over the right of self-determination and other organisational issues.

Before the SPLM-N split, the Movement negotiating team was led during 12 rounds of talks by the secretary general Yasser Arman who is now the deputy chairman of Agar faction.

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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