Home | News    Wednesday 22 April 2020

Sudan, SPLM-N Agar agree to include West Kordofan in future peace deal

Dhieu Matouk chairs a session of peace talks through videoconference flanked with with the SPLM-N Agar delegation in Juba on 21 April 2020 (SUNA photo)
April 21, 2020 (JUBA) - The peace agreement to be signed between the Sudanese government and SPLM-N led by Malik Agar will include West Kordofan state, revealed Yasir Arman, the Movement’s chief negotiator.

On Tuesday, the two parties held their second teleconference meeting to discuss issues of peace in the Two Areas particularly the wealth-sharing, security arrangements and the situation of the West Kordofan in this agreement.

The West Kordofan state was abolished and merged into South Kordofan State in 2005 as per the provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), but it was re-established in April 2013.

The conflict in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan resumed in 2011 on the backdrop of the non-implementation of the protocol related to the Two Areas in the CPA.

"We agreed with the government side that the would-be signed agreement be applied to the West Kordofan State in all its political and security aspects as well as the power-sharing," Arman told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

He pointed out that West Kordofan state will remain with its current geographical borders until the Governance and Administration Conference proposed by the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) to discuss the re-establishment of the former autonomous regions instead of the current 18 states.

The transitional government and the SRF consider the reestablishment of an amended version of the colonial six (mudiryas) in northern Sudan, which constitute current Sudan, including (Blue Nile, Darfur, Kassala, Khartoum, Kordofan, and Northern).

The then known as southern Sudan was divided into three departments (Bahr el-Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile).

Regarding the wealth-sharing between the centre and the Two-Areas, Arman said that the government delegation responded to the mediation’s proposal with three options giving the Two Areas 50%, 40% or 30% of the locally produced wealth in a way that the number of the years depends on the percentage agreed by the parties.

"But the SPLM is constantly sticking to 40%.," he stressed, referring to the proposal made by the mediator.

The Deputy Chief Mediator Dhieu Matouk told reporters in Juba that the Sudanese government has proposed 50% during six years, 40% for eight years or 30% for 10 years

On Sunday, the South Sudanese mediation proposed that the Two Areas be granted 40% of the wealth produced locally, as the SPLM-N first requested to be given 70%, while the government’s position, was to allocate only 30%.

Further, Arman expected to conclude discussions on the security arrangements next Tuesday, saying they agreed with the government today on issues of command, control, demobilization and troops merger.

He added that they are still discussing the period in which the SPLM-N fighters are incorporated into the regular forces, stressing that it will depend on the progress achieved in the implementation of the political agreement.

The two sides will meet next Tuesday, as the talks on Darfur will take place on Thursday and Sunday.

The government and the SRF groups have agreed to wrap up the negotiations on 9 May. However, the date of the signing ceremony was not yet determined.