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Sudanese peace talks resume two days after stalled

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Peace talks between the Sudanese government and two main armed movements resumed Friday in southern Sudan, after the main rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) threatened to quit negotiations and accused government forces of bombing their areas.

Representatives of all parties said that Khartoum and the two main armed movements, which included smaller movements, had reached a partial agenda for the talks.

“The parties will start talks on political issues, humanitarian issues and security measures,” Sudanese government delegation spokesman Mohammed Hassan al-Taishi told reporters.

Juba is hosting talks between the government of Sudan’s new prime minister, Abdullah Hamdouk, and representatives of two main armed movements that fought the forces of ousted President Omar al-Bashir in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

The talks began on Monday with the mediation of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and the support of regional leaders, including Ethiopian Prime Minister Abyei Ahmed and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. The first direct talks between the political rivals in Sudan were due to start Wednesday in Juba.

But the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) said Wednesday it would not continue talks unless the government withdrew from the fighting zone in the Nuba Mountains.

She said that Sudanese forces had attacked their territory over the past few days despite an informal ceasefire.

On Wednesday evening, the head of Sudan’s transitional sovereign council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, declared a permanent ceasefire in the three conflict zones.

An informal ceasefire has been in effect since Bashir was ousted in April following mass protests across the country.

On Thursday, the Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North Ammar Amoun agreed to return to the negotiating table.

“We were following the situation on the ground,” he said, adding that the government had taken steps that we considered “positive” to address all these issues, adding that there was still work to be done.

The SPLM spokesman described the agreement on the action points as “a great achievement.”

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