IGAD Peace Talks Break for One Month

(Nairobi 17, 10, 2004)

First Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha has affirmed that the end of the current year would witness solution of the south problem and completion of negotiations with Sudan People's Liberation Movement.

The First Vice President said in a briefing he gave to the Council of Ministers Sunday on the recent peace negotiations in Kenya that what has been realized during the session represented a clear reply to any accusation of the government of lack of seriousness in completing the peace process.

The two leaders, Dr. Garang of the SPLM/A and Mr. Taha left the talk last Sunday after having announced a breakthrough to the most outstanding issues.

They briefed the press conference in the hotel Intercontinental, the venue of the talk for the last one and half weeks. They two leaders had agreed on the handling and modalities on the Joint/Integrated Units (JIUs) in Eastern Sudan, establishment of the JIU service army, collaborative approach of handling other armed groups and other aspect of the ceasefire.

The ceasefire committee is currently locked up in another round of negotiation at the Kenya Commercial Bank management centre Karen in Nairobi.

They are expected to agree and draw up final proposals for the implementation on comprehensive ceasefire. The issue of the two armies was also discussed and the government turns down the proposal that the government will fund the SPLA army but it has agreed to pay for the JIUs.

The SPLM was arguing that since the army will be operating like any other standing force, then it must be on equal footing with the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and this meant being paid by the Central Government.

The two leaders once again reiterated their commitment to the peace process and urged the Sudanese people to prepare themselves in the task of the national building.

The delegates from both sides were also very optimistic arguing that the time they had spent all these times on the Negotiating table had turn out to be the period of building friends and shattered hope of ever staying together as fellow country men.

Before they break and leave the peace venue for one Holy month of Ramadhan, the government of the Sudan delegation was jokingly reminded not to turn their back on peace but use the opportunity to preach peace. The comprehensive peace pact is expect by late November.



Posted in: Governance
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