NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 5 (PANA) — Sudan peace negotiators arrived in Nairobi Sunday expressing optimism that a final peace deal would be signed by 31 December.
Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Taha, accompanied by chief
negotiator Nefie Ali Nefie arrived in Nairobi and immediately
set off for Naivasha, about 120-km north-west of the Kenyan
capital to meet with John Garang, leader of the south Sudan
People’s Liberation Movement (SPLA/M).
Both sides agreed to meet five days earlier than planned in
response to a request by Norway during the recent UN Security
Council’s meeting in Nairobi.
During the special session, Taha and Garang committed to sign
a final peace deal by the end of this year.
Speaking to journalists on his arrival Sunday, Nefie, a senior
official of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party and Federal
Relations Minister said: “We are hoping that we are here for
the final peace deal. We are enthusiastic and we feel that
our brothers (SPLA/M) on the other side would also be keen
to wrap up this peace deal.”
The two sides resumed talks in Kenya 26 November on details of
a broad agreement they signed earlier this year.
But among the outstanding issues were the funding of SPLA/M
forces and the deployment of a joint military force.
“We have almost completed the peace negotiations. The issues
which are remaining are not difficult to handle. We believe we
can wrap them up,” said Nefie.
SPLA/M leader Garang has also expressed optimism that the
final negotiations would provide a framework for resolving
the other conflict in Sudan’s western region of Darfur.
The UN Security Council gave the principal negotiators up to
31 December to finalise the peace deal on south Sudan and
embark on the formation of a national unity government, which
would see Garang become the first Vice-President with 30 percent
of SPLA/M officials also in the government.
Two years of negotiations by both sides have already delivered
six protocols on key issues such as power and wealth sharing, with
details on a permanent ceasefire and technical security measures
still on the table.
The war between the SPLM/A and the Sudanese government in the south
erupted in 1983 with the Garang’s group demanding greater autonomy
from the Khartoum.