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Sudan’s Peace Talks Fail to Reach Consensus


In Sudan, President Omar Al Bashir and First Vice President Salva Kirr of the former rebel Sudan’s People Liberation Movement (SPLM) will meet again this week to resolve the political impasse that is threatening to undermine the 2005 comprehensive peace agreement, which ended the war between the north and the south. The SPLM said ongoing peace talks with President Omar Al Bashir’s National Congress Party have failed to reconcile the differences between the two groups.

The former rebels have accused President Bashir’s party of refusing to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Despite the challenges, some political observers say a deal is reachable.

Malik Agar is the vice chairman of the SPLM. From the capital, Khartoum he tells reporter Peter Clottey that President Bashir’s National Congress Party should implement the agreement to resolve the impasse.

“This is one month ago, the interim political bureau of the SPLM gauged and weighed the implementation of the CPA and found out that there are difficulties in the implementation. So it did a stocktaking, and in that stocktaking they have taken a decision that the ministers and the advisors and the state ministers withdrew from the government of national unity at the process of not implementing the peace agreement,” Agar noted.

He said although their withdrawal from the government of national unity was a drastic step, the SPLM needed to send a strong message to President Bashir’s National Congress Party.

“Actually stopping work may be too harsh on the, but there are differences on the methodologies of the dialogue and they differed whether this is a package or treated as individual cases. So based on that one, they have not stopped really, but they are waiting for the two leaders of the two parties to take a decision on which format and which methodologies that they are going to take. So, they are expecting the directive from the two chairmen,” he said.

Agar explained the methodology the SPLM is demanding as a requisite resolving the political impasse.

“We have what we call the minimum package. Of course the areas that have not been implemented in the CPA are so many, but we have already chosen 11 items that need to be attended to urgently that we think if they are implemented then the ministers can resume their duties in the government of national unity. So we call that one a minimum list that we can live with; so we address this as a package and the National Congress Party, they have another opinion, a second opinion whether they address it as a package or as an individual case by case. So that is where the methodology came in and the format of the dialogue, we differed and now the two leaders have to come in to give the directives and new lines of how to begin,” Agar pointed out.

He expressed confidence in the ability of both parties in resolving the political impasse.

“These are two parties that have reached a peace accord. This was one of the longest wars in Africa and this is a war that has lasted for 50 years and with the displacement of 25 million persons, and they managed to stop the war for the last two and half years. I think they are also capable of resolving these issues if they could stop the war,” he said.

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