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Conclusions of SPLM-N workshop violate Sudan’s peace body decisions: official

Sudanese govt and SPLM-N start informal workshop on religion and state on 29 Oct 2020 (ST photo)

November 8, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The head of the government negotiating team said that the rejection of the recommendations of the informal workshop with the SPLM-N al-Hilu was in line with the position of the Higher Peace Council.

On 2 November, the SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu said that Shams al-Din Kabbashi had refused the recommendations of the workshop on the relationship between state and religion held on 31 October and 1 November in Juba.

In an interview with Al-Youm Altali newspaper on Sunday, Kabbashi said that he rejected the preamble of the understanding reached by the two delegations, underscoring that the workshop was prepared by the cabinet which also picked the members of the government delegation.

"Rejection of the preamble of the workshop was the institutions’ decision, and if I found myself again in the same place, I would choose that position, because it is the position of the institutions that I went to represent," said Khabbashi.

He added that the preamble endorsed the Joint Agreement of 3 September which provides that the constitution should be based on the principle of separation of religion and state.

The Higher Peace Council "did not approve the Joint Agreement between the prime minister and the leader of the SPLM-N al-Hilu," but endorsed the Joint Statement of 4 September which draw a roadmap to reach a settlement on this matter, he stressed.

At the time; the Deputy Chairman of the Sovereignty Council, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo "Hemetti" said that the institutions of the transitional authority agreed to the joint agreement between Hamdok and Al-Hilu.

Kabbashi went further that the joint agreement stipulates that the SPLM-N retains the status quo which includes self-protection until security arrangements are agreed upon by the parties to the conflict and until "separation between religion and state" is actualized.

He said this practically means that the SPLA will be maintained as such even if an agreement is reached on the separation between the state and religion.

"This also means that there would be no security arrangements (to discuss)," he added.

"I told the participants in the workshop that the preamble must be cancelled because maintaining it means there is an agreement on the separation of the state and religion and the two separate armies," he said.

"That is why it demanded to amend the preamble and refused to sign it," he stressed.

The member of the Sovereign Council, also disputed Hamdok right to sign the joint agreement emphasizing that any decision on this respect should be taken by the Higher Peace Council chaired by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

He went to say that reintroducing the joint agreement through the preamble was an unacceptable attempt to circumvent the decision of the higher peace body.

Also, he said that under the transitional constitution document the peace process takes place "under the auspice of the Sovereign Council" stressing that it gives them an authority to control it.

"Talking about the cabinet’s responsibility for the peace process is nothing more than a fabrication," he said.