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Sudan denies tensions with AUHIP mediation team

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May 1, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese presidential assistant, Ibrahim Ghandour, Friday denied tensions with the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) which brokers, among others, the peace talks with the rebel groups.

AUHIP chief Thabo Mbeki (R) speaking at the opening session for peace talks between the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N in Addis Ababa on 12 November 2014 (Photo courtesy AUHIP)

There have been reports about a silent crisis between the Sudanese government and the mediation team led by the former South African president Thabo Mbeki since Khartoum’s rejection to participate in a pre-dialogue meeting called by the AUHIP on 30 and 31 of March.

At the time, Khartoum accused the AUHIP team members of seeking to hold the meeting without inviting the national dialogue coordination body called (7+7), it also said organising it before the elections means to force the postponement of the electoral process.

However, the Sudanese officials spared Mbeki from their criticisms to his team.

"There is no crisis of confidence (with the mediation mechanism)and it will not be," said Ghandour who is also the head of the government delegation for the talks with the rebel groups during a talk show at the official station of Radio Omdurman on Friday.

He further stressed the confidence of his government in the AUHIP and expressed readiness to take part in the national dialogue preparatory meeting whenever the mediation decides.

In a press conference held on 10 April, Ghandour said they informed the AUHIP team, when it was in Khartoum before to call for the meeting, about their objection to held the meeting before the election saying it would send a "negative message to the Sudanese people".

The presidential aide further blamed the mediation for inviting a large number of participants without consulting the government previously.

Following the refusal of the Sudanese government to attend the pre-dialogue meeting, the AUHIP decided to suspend the meeting indefinitely.

After the failure of this meeting, the Sudanese opposition calls for a new process but said committed to the AUHIP and the leading role of the African Union in the process.

(ST)

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