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Troika calls on recalcitrant rebel groups to join Sudan peace process

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Daughter of Khalil Ibrahim, late founding leader of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement was among the signatories of the peace agreement in Juba on 31 August 2020 (ST photo)August 31, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The United States, United Kingdom and Norway - known as the Troika countries - welcomed on Monday the conclusion of an agreement to end the war in Sudan and called on the recalcitrant rebel leaders to join the ongoing efforts for peace and stability in Sudan and the region.

On 31 August, the Sudanese transitional government reached a comprehensive pact for peace in Sudan with the armed groups that fought against the former regime for long years in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan and then joined by armed groups in Darfur region.

"The peace agreement lays a foundation for sustainable peace and stability in Darfur and other conflict-affected areas that is critical for Sudan’s democratic transition," said the Troika in a statement released on Monday.

The three countries which were not much involved in the peace process compared to their role in the past years called on the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North of Abdel Aziz al-Hilu (SPLM-N al-Hilu) and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by the exiled leader Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) to engage in peace talks with the government.

"The Troika urges (al-Hilu and al-Nur) to build on this achievement and to engage in serious negotiations with the Government of Sudan in order to achieve the promise of a comprehensive peace called for by the Sudanese people in the revolution of December 2018," reads the joined statement.

Al-Hilu says only a secular state agreed in the peace talks can address the root causes of the marginalization of his people in Sudan. Also, he refuses to wait until the constitutional conference pointing that he does not believe that the political forces will approve it.

Al-Nur also calls for a secular state when he speaks about "equal citizenship state" but he poses additional conditions like the need to repair the consequences of war in term of land ownership, compensations and return of IDPs and refugees before to sign a peace agreement.

However, the Troika countries stressed that "Only a fully inclusive national process can address fundamental questions relating to the identity of the state".

In a statement to welcome the agreement, Amnesty International said that the position of the holdout groups "could be an obstacle" to the success of the peace agreement.

President Salva Kiir who repeated in the past that stability in his country requires peace and stability in Sudan pledged to exert the needed efforts to bring al-Hilu to resume talks the transitional government.

(ST)

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