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Sudan Tribune

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UN envoy seeks to break deadlock on Sudan’s Two-Areas talks

December 12, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The UN Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Haile Menkerios has a proposal to rescue the talks between Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

United Nations special envoy to Sudan, Haile Menkerios of Eritrea, holds a press conference in Khartoum on October 18, 2010 (AFP)
United Nations special envoy to Sudan, Haile Menkerios of Eritrea, holds a press conference in Khartoum on October 18, 2010 (AFP)
The African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) last November suspended talks on cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access between the warring parties in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan and vowed to continue consultations with the two sides.

The deadlock was about the nature of the security arrangements and how to reach the war affected areas in the Two Aresa.

Officials in Khartoum on Saturday told Sudan Tribune that Menkerios was in the Sudanese capital Khartoum to meet President Omar al-Bashir and convey to him a proposal aiming to break the deadlock

“The UN compromise proposal is related to the humanitarian cessation of hostilities in the Two Areas,’’ said the source, which declined to be identified saying the special envoy didn’t yet meet al-Bashir.

During that 10th round of talks the two sides failed to reach an agreement on ways to channel the badly needed humanitarian assistance to the war affected areas in the two states.

The SPLM-N proposed that the relief supplies to the needy in the Two Areas be delivered through multiple corridors, including entry points from neighbouring South Sudan and Ethiopia and inside Sudan. But the government insisted it should be shipped only through the government controlled areas.

Also, Khartoum said the cessation of hostilities should be followed by a permanent ceasefire agreement but the SPLM-N said the latter can only be discussed after a political settlement.

Meanwhile, Sudanese officials gave conflicting statements about the fate of the proposed informal talks.

While a member of the government negotiating team said three of the government delegates will leave for Addis Ababa on Monday, another negotiator told Sudan Tribune that the delegation’s travel to Addis Ababa hasn’t been yet decided. He further stressed that “the informal talks was just an idea put forward by the mediation without fixing a specific date for it.”

News about the informal meeting was carried by the semi-official Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) quoting the director of the AU office in Khartoum Mahmoud Kan as saying that the AUHIP was arranging for unofficial discussion between the two sides in a bid to break the deadlock in the talks.