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UN chief welcomes Hamdok-Hilu agreement on peace in Sudan

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Secretary-General António Guterres delivers remarks on International Labour Day on 1 May 2018 (UN Photo)September 4, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the signing of a joint agreement between the Sudanese Prime Minister and the SPLM-N leader to hold informal peace talks on the secular state in Sudan.

On 3 September, Abdallah Hamdok and Abdel Aziz al-Hilu signed a preliminary agreement providing that the constitution should be based on the principle of "separation of religion and state" in the absence of which "the right to self-determination must be respected".

The deal further provides to hold informal talks to develop ideas about the separation of religion and politics before to resume formal peace talks. Also, it maintains the cessation of hostilities until security arrangements are agreed and until "separation between religion and state" is actualized.

Guterres "considers this agreement a positive step, especially in the context of the initialling of the peace agreement between the Government, the Sudan Revolutionary Front and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)-Minni Minnawi faction earlier this week," said the UN spokesman.

He reiterated his commitment to supporting all efforts to achieve sustainable peace in Sudan.

The Sudanese government has refused to discuss the secular state during the peace negotiations saying it would be discussed in the constitutional conference, but al-Hilu maintains his demand and calls for self-determination if no deal is reached on this respect.

Further, the UN chief called on the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdel Wahid al-Nur to join the peace process "so that a comprehensive solution can be found".

(ST)

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