Sudan’s internal conflicts affecting mediation: official

The current political situation is affecting mediation process with the non-signatories to the 2020 Juba Peace Agreement, a senior South Sudanese official disclosed on Monday.

Security Affairs advisor, Tut Gatluak Manime said mediation has stopped because the political situation has taken attention of Sudanese leaders away from the process.

“Consultations are continuing with the non-signatories. We have held several meetings with them to solicit their views on the peace process and they are ready to negotiate but the current political situation in Sudan has taken the attention of the leadership in Sudan,” Manime told Sudan Tribune on Monday.

He added, “This is now what is delaying the start. If it was not because of the current situation in Sudan, the talks would have been concluded a long time”.

According to the presidential aide, the spirit with which the Khartoum government and the non-signatories to the Juba peace process started in 2020 showed commitment to ending the conflict and returning the country on the path of peace and stability.

“Things were moving in a positive way, in the right direction right after the conclusion of the peace talks in Juba and the signing of the agreement. You are aware that the former Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and the SPLM-N faction leader, Abdel-Aziz Adam al-Hilu met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and signed a Declaration of principles. That was a positive beginning and had the parties maintained that spirit, the talks would have gained strong momentum and peace would have been concluded,” explained Manine.

“The non-signatories would have been brought on board and a comprehensive peace would have been attained in Sudan”, he added.

The South Sudanese official stressed Juba’s role in Sudan’s peace process, saying it seeks to promote good ties in line with international law and neighbourly principles.

The advisor cited Juba’s recent handover of nine prisoners of war to Sudan authorities.

The former captives had illegally a territory controlled by Sudanese rebels (SPLM-N).

“The Misseriya youth were captured and detained as a prisoner of war by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North. Due to cordial diplomatic relations between the Sudan People’s Liberation movement North and South Sudan government, his Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit mediated the release process of Misseriya shepherd youths through Juba-Khartoum”, stressed Manime.

The SPLM-N is one of the non-signatories of the Juba Peace Agreement, although it signed a Declaration of Principles (DoP) to negotiate with the Khartoum government.

Since then, however, there have been no direct talks, albeit President Salva Kiir, his administration and the African Union have been trying to mediate between the sides.

In 2020, Sudan’s ex- Prime Minister Hamdok and the SPLM-N faction leader, Abdel-Aziz Adam al-Hilu signed a DoP in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The declaration, among other provisions, recognized that “the state shall not establish an official religion and that No citizen shall be discriminated against based on their religion”.

Source: Sudan Tribune