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UN, African Union officials discuss peace with Sudan’s prime minister

October 9, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok on Wednesday discussed with United Nations and African Union officials his government plans to achieve peace in Sudan and ways for regional and international support to the process.

On 11 September, the transitional government and the armed groups signed a declaration of principles to end the war and achieve peace in the Blue Nile, South Kordofan states and Darfur region and agreed to hold peace talks on 14 October.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations and Smail Chergui African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security separately met with Sudanese prime minister and Mohamed Hamdan Dalgo "Hemetti", member of the Sovereign Council to discuss peace and UNAMID withdrawal from Darfur.

The meeting with Hamdok "Focused on the government’s priority to achieve comprehensive peace across Sudan by the end of 2019, and how the UN and African Union can jointly support new Sudan leadership in ongoing transition from UN Peacekeeping in Darfur," said Lacroix in a tweet released after the meeting.

The government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) and the SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu agreed to launch the process on 14 October.

But, the AU’s Peace and Security Council still has to issue a decision to cancel the former peace process and to set up a new legal framework for the process. The regional body may take a decision on the matter in a meeting scheduled for Thursday 10 October.

Also, some armed groups of the SRF say they prefer that the venue of the peace process be in Abu Dhabi while the government and some other SRF groups inclined to go to Juba as they agreed with President Salva Kiir.

The SPLM-N group and the Sudanese government have already announced in their agreement of 11 September that a separate peace track will be held in Juba.

Lacroix and Smail also held meetings in El-Fasher with the Sudanese officials for the tripartite mechanism on Darfur, women’s groups and UNAMID leadership on challenges ahead for peace consolidation in Darfur as they prepare to move from peacekeeping to peacebuilding in Darfur.

We were moved by the "Darfur Women’s Protection Network who raised various issues of concern, especially their participation in the peace talks in Darfur. We pledged to support their calls and to engage Sudanese authorities in this regard," said Smail in a separate tweet.

In Khartoum, two visiting senior officials flanked by the UNAMID head Jeremiah Mamabolo discussed with Hemetti, the peace process and the security situation in Darfur.

"We exchanged views on the UNAMID transition process and how the two organizations can help Darfur in the next phase," said the head of the regional peace body.

The SRF is expected to conclude a workshop on the preparations for the workshop.

The transitional government and the SRF say they are keen to conclude a peace agreement before the end of the year 2019.

(ST)