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Sudan’s armed groups head to Khartoum for talks with government leaders

Tut Kew Gatluak speaks to a reporter after a meeting with Sudan's al-Burhan in Khartoum on 2 November 2019 (ST photo)
June 24, 2020 (JUBA) - Sudan’s chief mediator Tut Gatluak and three negotiators representing the armed groups will fly to Khartoum on Thursday in a bid to narrow the gaps on the outstanding issues, Sudan Tribune has learnt on Wednesday.

From the armed groups, the delegation will include Yasir Arman, SPLM-N Agar chief negotiator, Mohamed Bashir SLM-Minnawi chief negotiator and Ahmed Tugud JEM chief, negotiator. Also, Dhieu Matouk mediation secretary and spokesman will take part in Khartoum’s talks.

The delegation, which will likely stay for two days, will discuss in detail the power-sharing at the national level and in the war-affected areas, the security arrangements in the Two Areas and Darfur and funds compensation and development projects in Darfur.

According to the sources, which declined to be identified because they are not authorized to speak about the visit, the meetings in Khartoum will be with Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of the Sovereign Council, his deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo "Hemetti" and Abdallah Hamdok, the prime minister.

On Monday, the government rejected the proposal of the armed groups on the power-sharing at the national institutions as they claimed 4 seats at the Sovereign Council include a vice-chairman, 9 ministerial portfolios, federal 5 state ministers, and 140 seats in the transitional parliament.

In return, Khartoum proposed to allocate the armed groups 2 seats in the Sovereign Council, 4 federal ministries and 50 seats in the Transitional Legislative Assembly.

Also, the government rejects the demand of the armed groups in Darfur to give them 60% of the power in the region and state institutions.

The armed groups in Darfur estimate that the compensation, recovery and development funds should be given $13 billion during 10 years at $1.3 billion a year, but Khartoum proposes only $5 billion at $500 a year.

The same for the security arrangements, the Sudanese government propose the immediate demobilization and reintegration of the combatants but the armed groups speak about a joint force for IDPs protection during the transitional period.

For the Two Areas, the disagreement is about the title of the regional authority as the SPLM-N Agar wants it to be described as self-rule but Khartoum says it is a federal rule system that would be applied in the whole country.

Also, the two sides disagree on the security arrangements, as the government proposes 9 months for the DDR process and the SPLM-N asks to keep its rebel army during the transitional period.