Sudan rebels see no breakthrough in Addis Ababa talks

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North said Tuesday that ongoing peace talks with the Khartoum government are approaching a dead-end.

The rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North said Tuesday that ongoing peace talks with the Khartoum government are approaching a dead-end.

ADDIS ABABA – The rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) said Tuesday that ongoing peace talks with the Khartoum government are approaching a dead-end.

"We have major differences on the humanitarian issue and those on constitutional dialogue," SPLM-N chief negotiator Yasser Arman told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.

The remarks came after the SPLM-N delegation had engaged, for hours, in talks with the delegation of the Sudan government led by Dr. Ibrahim Gandour.

The African Union has warned both sides that it would refer the issue to the UN Security Council in the event that they failed to reach agreement before April 30.

The grim prospect for a peace deal came although a source close to the talks had earlier reported "flexibility" shown by both sides during a meeting last week.

Arman asserted, however, that the gaps between the two sides had "widened" in the following days.

He cited differences concerning the establishment and functioning of four proposed committees on humanitarian, security, political and constitutional issues.

"The SPLM-N is prepared to participate in a genuine process, not in a process that is controlled by one party," Arman told AA.

He added that his delegation, nonetheless, remains "cautiously optimistic" about a breakthrough in the coming few hours.

"We have done our part and that [deadline] would be decided by the African Union's High-level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP)."

Since 2011, the SPLM-N has waged an active insurgency against Khartoum in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

Outlawed by the central government, the group consists mainly of fighters who had sided with South Sudan during the three-decade civil war that ended with a 2005 peace treaty that ultimately led to the secession of South Sudan six years later.

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