Talks between Sudanese government officials and a rebel coalition, the Sudan people’s liberation Army-North (SPLA-N), resumed Thursday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
Prof. Ibrahim Ghandour, the Sudanese government Chief Negotiator, said the three days of negotiations started Thursday with the bilateral committees discussing issues related to the two regions - security, political and humanitarian questions.
The SPLA-N was part of the South Sudanese rebel movement-army, the Sudan people’s liberation Army (SPLA) until South Sudan broke away in 2011.
The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) has stipulated that the problems related to the two regions, South Kordufan and Blue Nile states, known as the marginalized areas, be settled separately.
The talks which have been intermittently held in the Ethiopian capital, were suspended last week after a series of sessions, due to insistence by the SPLM-N delegation that the negotiation must be a platform for resolving all problems of the Sudan, not only the two regions.
However, a prominent leader within the SPLA-N, Yasser Arman, who was close to late South Sudanese leader John Garang, has recently come under attack by the Nuba Mountain citizens for supporting that the question of the two regions be part of the overall problems faced by Sudan -- democracy, freedoms and governance of Sudan.
A coalition of politicians and popular organziations in the region issued a strongly-worded statement on the eve of the talks, saying “Araman does not hail from the Nuba people and has no relations to South kordufan state. His mere presence in the talk is a provocation to the Nuba people and to the Blue Nile people.”
The statement, received by reporters in Khartoum, expressed anger of the Nuba mountain people as Araman, a leading member of the coalition, linked any settlement of the Nuba mountains and Blue Nile to general Sudanese questions.
The two regions, currently under a state of emergency and are the scene of clashes, particularly south Kordufan, complained of marginalization and lack of development.