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Hemedti, al-Hilu meet in Juba, agree to work for peace in Sudan

October 8, 2020 (JUBA/KHARTOUM) - The Vice Chairman of the Sovereign Council, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo "Hemetti" met in Juba on Thursday with the leader of the SPLM-N Abdel Aziz al-Hilu paving the way for the resumption of peace talks this month.

Al-Hilu shakes hand with Hemetti in Juba on 8 October 2020 (ST photo)The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement withdrew from the negotiations on August 20 to protest against Hemetti’s leadership of the government negotiating delegation, accusing him of being involved in war crimes in South Kordofan and Darfur.

In press statements after the meeting, Hemetti and al-Hilu declared that the purpose of the meeting between them is to break the deadlock and restore confidence between the two parties for the sake of peace in Sudan.

They affirmed that they would resume talks after holding workshops in line with the Addis Ababa Agreement between Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and al-Hilu to discuss all obstacles and enhance efforts to achieve just peace in all parts of Sudan.

Hemetti expressed his happiness to meet al-Hilu in Juba, adding that the meeting was friendly and positive in favour of the cause of peace, resumption of negotiations, and achieving security and stability for our people in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

"What happened between us passed away like a summer cloud"; he said alluding to the SPLM-N withdrawal from the talks in August. "We are, in fact, brothers, and our interest is the interest of our country. I also appeal to the leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement, Abdel Wahid al-Nur to join the peace process."

"I assure Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu that the new Sudan is based on confidence because the old situation is no longer present. I promise you that you will not be stabbed from behind (as before) and we affirm our readiness to achieve peace and achieve the slogan of Freedom, Peace and Justice," he asserted.

He thanked the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit, and the Chief Mediator Tut Gatluak, for making this meeting possible.

The SPLM-N al-Hilu said in a statement that the two parties affirmed "returning to the negotiating table, with a new approach based on organizing workshops that discuss obstacles and reinforce efforts aimed at achieving a just peace in all parts of Sudan".

In a short speech, al-Hilu stressed the importance of the meeting to break the deadlock.

He further described the meeting as "friendly and positive, and paves the way for continuing negotiations in order to achieve peace, stability and build a new Sudan"

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and al-Hilu signed an agreement last September providing to hold extensive and informal consultations between the SPLM-N and the political and military component of the transitional authority over the SPLM-N’s demand to separate religion from the state.

Once an agreement is reached on the relationship between the state and religion, the two sides enter into formal peace negotiations that address the other political and military agendas.

For his part, the chief mediator Tut Gatluak said the Sudanese government and the Movement are committed to returning to the negotiating table as soon as possible.

He stressed that al-Hilu and Hemetti committed themselves to achieve peace in Sudan and that this may happen today or tomorrow, but what matters is the continuous pursuit of peace.

(ST)