JUBA – Differences continue to persist at the Juba peace talks between Sudanese government and Abdelaziz al-Hilu’s Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-N al-Hilu), sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.
This has prompted South Sudan to intervene by extending the talks to June 13, in an attempt to bridge the divide.
Both sides resumed on Monday direct talks at the Palm Africa Hotel in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
Member of the Transitional Sovereign Council Lieutenant General Shams El-Din Kabbashi led the government delegation, while the movement’s delegation was headed by its Secretary- General Ammar Amoun. South Sudanese mediator Tut Galwak was also present.
According to informed sources, all issues on the table are still pending, namely the transitional period, the state of the economy and means of reforming judicial and civil service agencies.
Rapporteur of the Southern Sudanese mediation committee, Dr. Dhieu Mathok said the mediation team held talks with relevant parties and decided to review some of the notes submitted on the draft framework agreement.
Both sides have agreed to form a small joint committee to reach a unified draft and common understanding about the security arrangements file.
Many contentious issues regarding the judicial system were “resolved,” affirmed Mathok, noting that one issue remained pending, and a committee was tasked to address it.
Most of the disputed issues revolve around the assessment and follow-up commission, Mathok explained.
Many of the contentious issues, which were included in the draft framework agreement, were resolved in the Declaration of Principles that was signed in March.
The Sudanese government and a major rebel group from its southern Nuba Mountains signed the Declaration of Principles, which paved the way for a final peace agreement by guaranteeing freedom of worship to all while separating religion and the state.
The mediation will not review this declaration, Mathok stressed, urging both sides to abide by it.