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U.S. Booth, SLM-Minnawi discuss peace in Sudan despite SRF rift

May 29, 2020 (KHARTOUM) -Donald Both, U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and Minni Minnawi leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) discussed the need to achieve peace in Sudan despite the recent rift within the umbrella of the armed groups.

US special envoy Donald Booth speaks at the Atlantic Council on Sudan and South Sudan (State Department courtesy photo)According to a statement released on Friday by the SLM-MM, in a telephone call with Minnawi, Both discussed "the ongoing peace talks in Juba and the need that differences between the SRF groups do not affect the peace process".

On 18 May, the SLM-MM broke away from the alliance of the armed groups negotiating with the transitional government in Juba but said they are committed to the peace talks.

Facilitators expressed fears that the rift would obstruct the process as the parties are approaching a comprehensive peace agreement for the armed conflict Darfur and the Two Areas with the SRF groups.

"Minnawi confirmed that the Revolutionary Front is practically now divided into two Fronts and reiterated the commitment of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front - Sudan Liberation Movement to achieve a comprehensive peace," said the statement.

The SLM-MM which contested during the past months the positions of the SRF leadership during the peace talks recently called to reform the structures of the Front and to replace it by a flexible organizational structure.

But the other eight SRF groups rejected the proposal triggering the withdrawal of the SLM-MM from the alliance.

During the past days, Minnawi announced that several Darfur groups joined his SRF faction including the Justice and Equality Movement led by Abdellah Banda who is wanted by the war crimes courts in The Hague, and Justice and Equality Movement led Bakheit Abdallah Dabajo.

The South Sudanese Chief Mediator Tut Gatluak, two days ago, told Sudan Tribune that he is not concerned by the internal divisions within SRF groups.

He further added that his government is working to achieve peace in Sudan and that he as a mediators focuses his efforts mainly in this respect.

The Troika countries that support the Juba process for peace in Sudan are expected to press the Sudanese parties in the upcoming days to remain committed to the negotiations.

The mediation said that an initial peace agreement would be signed on 20 June 2020.