Sudan peace talks kick off in Juba
By Kitab A Unango & Elia Joseph
Peace talks between the government of Sudan and its opposition groups have started in Juba yesterday.
President Salva Kiir is mediating the talks between the new Sudanese government and opposition groups-the Revolutionary Movement and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement led by Gen. Alhadi Adrias Yaya.
Previous efforts by international and regional bodies including African Union (AU) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) had proven futile due to differences among the opposition groups.
Last week President Kiir united the differed oppositions under one leadership of Alhadi Idris Yaya to enable the negotiations with the Sudan government to end the conflict.
Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdam, Vice President of the Sudanese Sovereign Council led the Khartoum delegation to the talks with opposition groups.
President Kiir in his opening remarks, called on the parties to talks to be flexible and negotiate in good faith to bring an end to the suffering of the people of Sudan.
“I want you (parties) to negotiate in good faith so that you bring peace to the people of the Sudan to end the suffering of your people,” Kiir urged.
He said his government has taken the lead in solving its neighbor’s problem because of its effects on his country saying Sudan’s government and the oppositions should utilize the chance to end violence in the Sudan.
“Sudan is ours, if Khartoum is bleeding, we are also bleeding. We cannot sit here comfortably when Sudan is suffering,” Kiir said.
“I want you to take the talks seriously so that you can bring peace to your people in the Sudan.”
On his part, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdam, commanded efforts of Kiir’s leadership. He described the talks as “the beginning of achievement of the stability and development in Sudan.”
“I thank the President for his invitation to negotiate the problem in Sudan. This talk marks the beginning to the end of the suffering of the people of the Sudan, peace, stability and development in Sudan,” Hamdam said.
Abdalla Aziz Al Hilu, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North said the peace talks were a gateway to addressing root causes of conflict in the Sudan.
“We are all Sudanese. But we should all work for the unity of Sudan,” Al Hilu said.