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Sudanese armed groups blame South Sudanese mediator for the second time

Tut Kew Gatluak speaks to a reporter after a meeting with Sudan's al-Burhan in Khartoum on 2 November 2019 (ST photo)

December 1, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Several groups of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) once again distanced themselves from a letter sent by the South Sudanese mediator to the Sudanese government about a visit by a delegation of some armed opposition leaders to Khartoum.

The SRF groups had already blamed the South Sudanese mediator for delaying the peace talks from 21 November to 10 December without previous consultations.

Tut Kew Gatluak, South Sudanese mediator sent a letter to the head of the Sudanese government negotiating delegation requesting him to take the necessary arrangement to facilitate the visit of a "delegation of the SRF and the Movement" to Khartoum on Monday 2 December.

Gatluak in his letter seen by Sudan Tribune further said the delegations will "follow up the issues of cessation of hostilities and humanitarian issues agreed upon between the two parties".

He was referring to a delegation headed by Yasir Arman of the SPLM-N Agar, Sudan Liberation Movement Transitional Council and Kush Liberation Movement that will arrive on Monday to the Sudanese capital.

However, Minni Minnawi, Gibril Ibrahim, Eltom Hajo, Elamin Daud, and Mohamed Daud issued a joint statement denouncing the letter and denying that this delegation represents the SRF or being mandated to hold discussions in Khartoum.

"We would like to emphasize that the SRF has not taken a decision to send such a delegation and has not been consulted on these measures," said the joint statement.

The five leaders further said that Gatluak’s move had not been agreed with them and represents an "interference" in the SRF internal affairs, which is inconsistent with the functions of the mediation and its neutrality.

"The Revolutionary Front informs the transitional authority represented by the Sovereign Council and the Council of Minister that it has not sent a delegation on its behalf and did not authorize any delegation to deliberate on the negotiation issues, especially those contained in the Juba Declaration," further said the five leaders.

The SRF groups of Darfur track recently blamed the mediator for postponing the talks to 10 December from 21 November and reiterated their call for a decision from the Peace and Security Council of the African Union on the mediation and the venue of the peace talks.

On Saturday, Minni Minnawi released a statement saying he requested "negotiating methodology" with President Salva Kiir during a meeting in Addis Ababa.

The IGAD leaders on Friday endorsed the South Sudanese mediation for the peace process in Sudan which had been initially planned to be concluded on 14 December.

SRF leader Hadi Idriss said in a statement on Sunday he had sent in a letter in coordination with the mediation to all the groups that had not sent their delegation urging to follow suit and dispatch delegations to the country in line with the signed understandings before the resumption of talks on 10 December.

Accordingly, a delegation including representatives of the Sudan Liberation Movement - Transitional Council, SPLM-N Agar and Kush Liberation Movement will arrive on Monday in Khartoum, he added.

"This delegation represents the (three) factions and has no mandate to conduct any negotiations on behalf of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front" Idriss stressed.

It "will work with the rest of the organizations and leaders of the Revolutionary Front in Khartoum to promote a climate of peace and create the suitable atmosphere for the success of the next round," he added.

International and regional community call on the armed groups to limit the discussions in Juba to the security arrangements and to move to inside Sudan to take part in the transitional authority and to participate in the constitutional conference.