October 18, 2019 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) – Sudanese government has released 26 prisoners of war in line with the confidence-building agreement signed with the armed groups in Juba on 11 September, said the armed groups on Saturday.
The Sudanese Revolutionary Front and two factions of the Sudan Liberation Movement, the Transitional Council (SLM-TC) and that led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) issued statements about the release of the PoWs.
Three of the released prisoners are members of the SPLM-N led by Malik Agar.
In statements to Sudan Tribune SRF Chairman Hadi Idris who is also the SLM-TC leader welcomed the release of the Pows and thanked the Sudanese transitional government for the move stressing that it comes in line with the Juba Declaration.
“This is an encouraging step forward in negotiating and underscores the seriousness of the Government in reaching peace,” he said. and called to release the remaining SRF prisoners.
He further disclosed the formation of a joint committee with the government to implement the humanitarian access and distribute the aid relief to the conflict-affected civilians.
Further, Osama Said, SRF Spokesman in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, welcomed the release of prisoners from the SLM-TC and the SPLM-N, saying their release is “a step in the right direction and gives a powerful impetus to the peace process”.
The SRF and the transitional government have resumed meeting on Friday on a draft roadmap for peace in Sudan and were briefed on the ongoing contacts with the African Union to issue a new mandate for Sudan peace negotiations as the current mandates do not fit with the current situation after the collapse of the former regime.
For its part, the SLM-AW which refuses to join the peace process in Juba issued a separate statement welcoming the released prisoners.
“We highly value this initiative, even if it comes late, because these prisoners resisted the former regime with great courage, and were a direct reason to weaken it (before its collapse),” said Mohamed al-Nayer in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.
He further called to release the jailed militants and displaced civilians.
The SLM-AW refuses to take part in the Juba peace process and called to hold a referendum on the legitimacy of the transitional authority before to join the peace process.