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UN envoy discusses South Sudan crisis and SPLM-N rift in Khartoum

June 8, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - UN Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Nicholas Haysom discussed on Thursday with the Sudanese foreign ways to reinvigorate regional and international efforts to bring peace in South Sudan.

Nicholas Haysom , UN special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan (UN photo)

The visiting South African diplomat also discussed the ongoing rift within the rebel SPLM-N with Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, a presidential aide and chief negotiator for the peace talks and the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) leader Sadiq al-Mahdi.

According to the foreign ministry spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir Haysom discussed with Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour ways to activate the ongoing regional and international efforts to achieve peace and stability in South Sudan.

Khidir added the discussions included the "preparations for the IGAD Summit on the situation in South Sudan, which will be held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on June 12."

Ghandour stressed Sudan’s keenness to achieve peace in South Sudan and the pivotal role of Sudan in all efforts and initiatives aimed at ending the over three-year crisis in the neighbouring country.

The Sudanese Foreign Minister, according to the statement, further said that Sudan has exercised the utmost wisdom, self-restraint and patience with the South Sudan which he accused of supporting the Sudanese armed groups.

The IGAD leaders will discuss ways to bring the warring parties to end the fighting and allow humanitarian access to the needy in the war affected areas.

They also intend to see how they can hold an inclusive national dialogue process including the main armed group SPLM-IO which Juba does not want to see in the political process for the time being.

SPLM-N RIFT

Haysom who facilitate the efforts of the African Union mediation to end the conflict in the Two Areas discussed the ongoing crisis in the SPLM-N and its impact on the peace process.

"We held a fruitful meeting with the head of the government negotiating delegation, in which we clearly expressed our concern about divisions within the SPLM-N and ways to speed up the implementation of the African Union roadmap," the UN special envoy told reporters after the meeting.

He added they agreed that is too early, at this stage, to predict the consequences of divisions within the SPLM-N, adding they will continue to monitor closely those developments.

Haysom also met with the NUP leader Sadiq al-Mahdi but both didn’t made any statement about the meeting.

"The meeting discussed the current political situation and the latest developments and developments at the local and international levels," said a short statement released by the opposition group after the encounter.

Al-Mahdi is a political ally of the SPLM-N. The NUP and the SPLM-N are signatories of a roadmap agreement brokered by the African Union mediation.

The Sudanese opposition groups keep silent over the rift in the armed group as Abdel Aziz al-Hilu who is appointed to replace Malik Agar by the Nuba Mountains body calls for self determination for his region.

(ST)