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There are several pending issues to address before peace: Darfur groups

Dhieu Matouk South Sudan's mediation secretary general chairs a peace meeting between the government and Darfur groups on 26 April 2020 (SUNA photo)
June 20, 2020 (JUBA) - Darfur Armed groups said that there are several sticking points in the peace talks besides the security arrangements before to reach a comprehensive deal.

The South Sudanese mediation officially announced in Juba Friday that the two parties could not sign a peace agreement on June 20 as it had been previously announced, adding that arrangements are underway to receive the government delegation in Juba on Sunday.

The head of the Revolutionary Front, al-Hadi Idris, and the Sudan Liberation Movement Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM)’s Presidential Assistant for Media and Public Relations Noreldaem Taha confirmed to Sudan Tribune the readiness of the armed groups to reach a peace agreement and stressed that the postponement of the signing of the peace deal was due to the delayed arrival of the government delegation to Juba for the resumption of the direct talks.

The two officials revealed that there are many outstanding issues including the wealth-sharing and the amount of money that the government should disburse annually to funds related to the compensation of the war-affected civilians, recovery programmes and development.

The armed movements demand $ 13 billion be paid within ten years, at $ 1.3 billion a year, while the government declares its willingness to pay five billion dollars over ten years, at $ 500 million a year.

Both Hadi and Noreldaem stressed in separate statements to Sudan Tribune that there is disagreement about the powers-haring at the federal and regional levels.

The armed groups demand four seats at the Sovereign Council, nine portfolios in the transitional government and about 140 seats of the transitional parliament among others.

Dhieu Matouk the mediation spokesman told reporters in Juba on Friday that Mohamed Hamdan Daglo Hemetti the head of the Sudanese government negotiating delegation and Shams al-Din Kabbashi a member of the government team would arrive in Juba at a later time to discuss the remaining issues.

Matouk affirmed the readiness of all parties to resolve the pending issues, which he described as "simple and can be fully addressed".

Also, he pointed out that there are issues related to the Constitutional Document.

On this respect, Hadi said that the armed groups "believe that the elections should take place after the return of the displaced persons and refugees to their areas of origin."

"This will make the implementation of refugees and IDPs’ return programmes a national affair that the government would use all the means to accomplish during the transitional period," he added.

For his part, Noreldaem disclosed that there is an agreement about when the transitional period would begin.

"As for the armed struggle forces in Darfur, the transitional period should be four years beginning from the date of signing the peace agreement, while the government says it should start from the date of signing the Constitutional Document."

He further said that the Sudan Liberation Movement has not yet begun negotiations on the security arrangements, as the other groups have made progress in the talks on this issue.

SLM-MM refused videoconference meeting on the security arrangements stressing that they want direct talks.

The SRF head said that they are at odds with the government in the ongoing negotiations on security arrangements, pointing that they call for the formation of a joint force to protect the IDPs during the transitional period, while the government says that the process of integration and disarmament should be initiated immediately after the signing of the peace agreement.

He added that they demand that the security arrangements lead to the reshaping of the military institution in Sudan.

"Therefore, we demand that all the military forces in Sudan sit at the negotiating table to study this transformation".

On this respect, SLM-MM presidential adviser said that the military are part of the process of change, and this peace process can only take place with the participation of all parties.

The two leaders emphasized they work in harmony together and coordinate positions during the negotiations, and that their political dispute over the organizational structure of the Revolutionary Front has no effect on the negotiating process.

The two leaders emphasized they work in harmony together and coordinate positions during the negotiations, and that their political dispute over the organizational structure of the Revolutionary Front has no effect on the negotiating process.

The Secretary of the South Sudanese mediation and Spokesman stressed that the return of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front to Khartoum after the signing of peace is a strategic goal to contribute to the completion of the goals of the revolution and that Sudan needs peace now more than ever.

However, he did not announce a new date for the signing of the peace agreement.