World Bulletin / News Desk
The chief negotiators of the Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) met Tuesday for the first time in Addis Ababa.
Ibrahim Gandour and Yasser Arman met together to discuss the agenda of Wednesday's peace talks, according to Anadolu Agency reporter.
Tuesday's meeting is the first face-to-face meeting between the chief negotiators in the absence of Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president currently leading mediation efforts.
Addressing a press conference earlier Tuesday, Arman called for putting the issue of Sudanese refugees in South Sudan on the agenda of the peace talks with Khartoum.
"In the course of the talks, we will present the issue of Sudan refugees in South Sudan for deliberations," Arman told a Tuesday press conference.
While the government says it wants to discuss the situation in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, both epicenters of the SPLM-N's ongoing insurgency, the rebel group wants talks to include other issues as well.
"The issue of South Kordofan and Blue Nile should not be looked at within the framework of the issues affecting the entire Sudan," Arman said.
"We have had discussions two times with Thabo Mbeki [the former South African president currently leading mediation efforts] to whom we made our vision clear," he said.
"We discussed with Mbeki ways of making the upcoming negotiations successful; and we want the talks to be direct," he added.
Since 2011, the SPLM-N has waged an active insurgency against the Khartoum government in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.
Outlawed by Khartoum, the movement consists mainly of fighters who sided with South Sudan during the civil war, which ended with a 2005 peace treaty that opened the door to South Sudan's secession from Sudan six years later.Last Mod: 23 Nisan 2014, 09:55