Sudan govt, opp. groups begin peace talks in Ethiopia

Face-to-face talks kick off after four-party opposition alliance signs roadmap agreement with Khartoum

Sudan govt, opp. groups begin peace talks in Ethiopia

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Direct talks began Wednesday in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa between representatives of the Sudanese government and armed opposition groups based in Sudan’s conflict-ridden South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

The talks come after a four-party opposition alliance -- that includes a Darfurian rebel group -- signed a roadmap agreement earlier this week with Khartoum.

"Hopes are high for success this time around because all opposition groups have come on board and they seem to be more committed [to finding a peaceful solution]," government spokesman Hussein Hamdi said.

On Monday, four Sudanese opposition groups signed a roadmap agreement proposed by African Union mediators. 

The agreement calls for all-inclusive national dialogue, a cessation of hostilities and a permanent ceasefire, as well as humanitarian access to populations affected by Sudan’s ongoing conflicts. 

"We are looking forward to reaching permanent peace in Sudan and putting an end to war," Sadek al-Mahdi, leader of Sudan’s opposition National Umma Party (NUP), said after the deal was signed. 

Along with the NUP, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), Darfur’s Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) signed on to the agreement. 

For the last five years, the AU’s High Level Implementation Panel -- led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki -- has attempted to mediate a settlement.

This week’s agreement, however, represents the first time for mediation efforts to succeed in getting all actors to sign onto a deal.

"There can be no significant challenge if there is a political will," Hamdi said Wednesday. "Everything can be discussed by the parties involved."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Ağustos 2016, 22:18