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ADDIS ABABA - 17 Apr 2013

SPLM-N receives AU invitation to peace talks with Khartoum

The Sudanese rebel group, SPLM-North, announced on Tuesday that they have received an official invitation letter from the African Union’s (AU) chief mediator, President Thabo Mbeki, to a round of negotiations with the Sudanese government beginning 23rd April in Addis Ababa.

The group have responded positively to the invitation and reaffirmed their readiness to negotiate with Khartoum, claimed spokesperson ZeinabMahoud al-Dai, in an exclusive interview with Radio Tamazuj.

SPLM-N will send a delegation of 15 people to the negotiations, led by Secretary General, Yassir Said Arman.

The negotiations will be based on the UN Security Council resolution 2046 and the June 2011 AU-mediated agreement between the SPLM-N and the Sudanese government.

Zeinab accused the ruling party, the National Congress Party (NCP), as being responsible for the obstruction of negotiations thus far, impacting hundreds of thousands of displaced and injured civilians.

“The Khartoum government have delayed the last round of talks as they were not ready… the IDPs and refugees were seriously affected due to the failure of the talks,” Zeinab claimed in reference to not being able to begin them.

Meanwhile the head of Sudan’s delegation, Ibrahim Ghandour, reaffirmed on Sunday Khartoum’s readiness to engage in serious negotiation with the SPLM-N in order to reach a peaceful settlement on the fighting Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

He told reporters that his delegation is awaiting notification from the African Union in order to begin the negotiation.

File photo: SPLM-N Secretary General Yassir Said Arman