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Sudan peace talks delayed to December: mediator

Tut Kew Gatluak speaks to a reporter after a meeting with Sudan's al-Burhan in Khartoum on 2 November 2019 (ST photo)
November 19, 2019 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) - Sudan peace talks have been adjourned for nearly three weeks South Sudanese and Sudanese government said on Tuesday.

The transitional government, the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) and the SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu had to resume discussions for a peace agreement ending the armed conflicts in Darfur and South Kordofan and Blue Nile State on 21 November.

However, the South Sudanese Presidential Adviser Tut Kew Gatluak who mediate the talks announced the postponement of the talks to 10 December dashing hopes to conclude the process before 14 December as announced previously.

Armed "Opposition groups have workshops in different areas. Some of them have workshops in Addis Ababa," Gatluak said without further details.

In Khartoum, a member of the Sovereign Council Mohamed Hassan Eltaishi who is also the spokesman of the government negotiating delegation confirmed the postponement saying it was requested by the mediator.

"At the request of the mediator (the Government of South Sudan), the date for the resumption of the negotiations has been postponed until 10 December 2019," Eltaishi said in a statement released after a meeting of the Peace Commission.

The Sudanese official said talks had to begin on 21 November with the SPLM-N al-Hilu and on 5 December with the SRF factions.

The government and the rebel umbrella had concluded a declaration of principles "Political Agreement" on 21 October while al-Hilu group failed to strike a similar agreement.

The SRF and the SPLM al-Hilu recently held consultations meeting with the US Special Envoy to Sudan Donald Booth who encouraged a swift agreement as of his role to facilitate the process.

The delay of the talks comes as the political and military components had agreed to postpone the formation of the legislative assembly until the end of December with the hope that a peace agreement would be reached at this date.

The SRF groups had asked to form it after the signing of a peace agreement.