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Sudan Tribune

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Negotiators for peace in Darfur still need to agree on power-sharing issues: SRF official

Al-Taishi (3rd R) speaks in a joint press conference with SRF-Darfur leaders in Juba on 17 January 2020 (SC photo)
Al-Taishi (3rd R) speaks in a joint press conference with SRF-Darfur leaders in Juba on 17 January 2020 (SC photo)

March 4, 2020 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) – The armed groups in Darfur say they still have a set of issues in the power-sharing chapter that need to be agreed with the government dashing hopes of a peace deal ending the stalled peace talks in Juba next week.

On 14 February, the government and the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), for the second, extended the negotiations for three weeks.

However, Mutasim Ahmed Salih, the Justice and Equality Movement Spokesman, a member of the SRF Darfur negotiating team in Juba on Wednesday stated that they need more time to discuss some issues in the power-sharing chapter.

“These issues are the system of governance in Darfur region, the participation of Darfur groups in the federal transitional institutions: the Sovereign Council, the Council of Ministers, the Legislative Assembly),” he said.

Further, he referred to their demand to extend the transitional period adding the parties have to agree on the duration of the transitional period and when it begins.

The negotiator said they want also to negotiate “Article 20” of the constitutional document prohibiting the participation of the members of the transitional Sovereign Council, cabinet and governors in the elections that will be held at the end of the transitional period.

In statements on Tuesday, Shams al-Din Kabbashi, a member of the Sovereign Council and a leading member of the government negotiating team said that any discussions on the extension of the transitional period should be decided by the constitutional conference which gathers all the political forces.

However, Kabbashi said they are on the verge of signing a peace agreement with the SPLM-N led by Malik Agar as they are finalizing discussions on the security arrangements with them.

He added they held a meeting with the SRF leaders and agreed to work day and night to end reach an agreement on the remaining issues.

Reports from Juba say the SRF demand to allocate them 40% of the transitional Sovereign Council and the cabinet.

The government and Darfur groups have not yet started discussions on the issues related to the IDPs compensations, rehabilitation and recovery projects and security arrangements.

Negotiators from the two sides in Juba told Sudan Tribune that technical challenges facing the UNAMID which will ensure the transport and commodities of the IDPs representatives have forced them to wit until their arrival.

The head of the government negotiating team Mohamed Hamdan Daglo Hemetti who returned from Juba on Wednesday told reporters that he held talks with the South Sudanese president and his first vice president on the formation of the revitalized national unity government.

He stressed that the negotiation process is progressing well, and pointed out that talks on the security arrangements will begin in the coming days.

(ST)