SPLM Initiative For The Resumption Of The Machakos Peace Talks

 After wide consultations with the mediators and observers the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement and the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA)  takes this  opportunity to re-assure the Sudanese people in particular and the international community in general that the Movement is still ready to continue with the peace talks that were abruptly terminated by the walking out of the Government of Sudan  (GOS) delegation on September 2nd, 2002.  The Movement is hereby announcing an initiative to resume the Peace Talks.

In this regards, the SPLM/SPLA is prepared to create a conducive atmosphere during the talks.  This will be by the way of observing restraint and not engaging in offensive military operations during the peace talks.  The SPLA units will be instructed to maintain defensive posture and not go into offensive military operations.  The SPLA will therefore observe a period of tranquility when the peace talks are in progress. However, the Leadership of the SPLM/SPLA hopes that the GOS forces and its allied militias be willing and ready to reciprocate.  This is particularly important in view of the fact that the present GOS stance is one that only leads to further escalation of the conflict.  The ban imposed recently on flights to Equatoria region (and by extension to the whole of the New Sudan) by the GOS is a new episode in the regime's  policy of the systematic use of food as a weapon  against the civil population through denial of humanitarian access.

It is also hoped that the two parties shall tone down or stop any propaganda and media campaign against each other so as to provide a further conducive atmosphere for the talks.  The GOS should abandon mobilization, bombing of civilians and its general war mongering posture to equally create an atmosphere for  peace.
Finally, with this gesture the SPLM/SPLA urges the international community to put pressure to bear on the Khartoum regime to speedily return for the peace talks.  The National Islamic Front  (NIF) should not be allowed to undermine the peace gains made as a result of the Machakos Protocol.  The SPLM/SPLA delegation is still at the negotiating table and the Movement remains keen to seize every available opportunity to further build on the protocol with an objective to reach a final and just settlement of the Sudanese conflict.
Dr. Samson L. Kwaje
Commissioner for Information and
Official Spokesman SPLM/SPLA
27th September, 2002  - Nairobi


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