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SLM-Minnawi is not considered as SRF faction in Sudan peace process: mediator

Tut Gatluak (C) speaks to reporters in Juba (file photo)May 22, 2020 (JUBA) - South Sudanese Chief Mediator Tut Gatluak Friday said that Minni Minnawi’s group is participating in the Juba process as the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM), not as a faction of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF).

On 18 May, the SLM-MM broke away from the SRF and declared its commitment to the peace process as the SRF under the leadership of Minni Minnawi.

Gatluak who made his statement after a meeting with the SRF leadership wanted to close the door for further developments that might complicate the peace process which is supposed to end on 20 June.

"The Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Miinawi announced its defection from the Revolutionary Front," he said before to add that it is "committed to the peace process and coordination with the (SRF) especially in the Darfur track,".

"So, the group is now participating as the Sudan Liberation Movement and while the Sudanese Revolutionary Front is an alliance that includes all the organizations affiliated with it under the leadership of Hadi Idriss," he stressed.

Sudan Tribune learnt that the SRF indicated to the mediation that they accept the participation of the SLM-MM in the peace process as such as long as they accept to coordinate their position with the alliance.

Under the Juba Declaration of September 2019 signed between the transitional government in Khartoum and the SRF, the parties to the agreement have to accept the inclusion of new groups in the Juba process for peace in Sudan.

Minnawi movement declared itself as an SRF faction but none of the other eight groups joined it. The alliance factions remained committed to the SRF leader Hadi Idriss.

Eric Reeves, Sudan researcher who extensively wrote about Darfur conflict criticised the withdrawal of the SLM-MM from the SRF saying "Minnawi looms as a major obstacle to resolving conflict in Darfur".

"There can be no justification for withdrawal from the SRF at this point in negotiations—let alone attempting to set up as a "separate faction." Perhaps he expects to be made VP of Sudan again," he added.

The breakaway group says they just want a reform of the SRF structures but they remain committed to achieving peace in Sudan.

"Demanding to amend the SRF structure (...)" through the establishment of a "horizontal structure to ensure the Front unity" does not mean rejecting peace," said the group on Wednesday.

(ST)