Sudan: Representatives of Sudanese restive areas call for autonomous rule

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - Members of the Sudanese National Dialogue Conference (NDC) committee on administration, representing Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, have demanded an autonomous rule within a united Sudan.

Faisal Yassin, a member of the Committee, was quoted by Aljareedah daily newspaper on Saturday as saying that leading members of the Blue Nile Ingassana Party and leading figures of the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan have demanded that the two areas be granted autonomy within a United Democratic Sudan, in view of their special character that is different from other regions of the country.

Yassin said heated discussions erupted within the Committee with some members advocating continuation of the present federal system while others called for autonomy to the two areas.

The National Dialogue, which brings together representatives of the main political parties, save the Umma and the communist party, in the Sudan, was initiated by President Omar El-Bashir.

It kicked off in Khartoum over two months ago with the view to discussing all issues without government intervention and making recommendations on issues ranging from Sudan’s identity, Governance, Freedom, Foreign Policy to system of government in the Sudan.

President Bashir vowed to implement the outcome of the conference, no matter what.

The two areas, Blue Nile, near the border with Ethiopia, and Nuba Mountain, near the border with South Sudan, are the scene of civil strife, with rebels demanding more share in power and wealth. But the government charges they merely are leading war by proxy.

The rebels used to be part of the Sudan liberation Movement of South Sudan (SPLA/SPLM). That movement has become fully South Sudanese after the separation of the south in 2011.

Prior to the cessation, South Sudan was demanding autonomous rule which was rejected and those putting that demand were considered “traitors”. The South ended up separating altogether from the rest of the country, forming a new African state.

Several rounds of talks between government and rebel delegations from the two areas, under the auspices of the African Union, have failed to put an end to the conflict.

The AU, under the leadership of AU High Level Implementation Panel spearheaded by former South Africa’s president Thabo Mbeki, adopted a different strategy of trying to bring the two parties closer. It organizes informal meetings away from the media. The first such meeting was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last month.

This week, it was announced that a second round of informal negotiations between Khartoum and the armed opposition Sudan People's Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N), will be held in the German capital, Berlin, on 22 January to find a settlement to the armed conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

Ambassador Mahmoud Kann, head of the African Union Liaison Office in Khartoum, told the Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) on Thursday that the informal talks would be co-sponsored by the German government and the African Union (AU).

He added that negotiations on the other Darfur crisis would be held between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebel movements in the Ethiopian Debar Zeit town, about 50 km away from Addis, on 23 January.

Kann added that the Darfur talks would be based on the outcome of a recent meeting in Paris, France, between the rebel movements and Qatar mediators.

Qatar has previously brokered talks in 2011, called the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), between the Khartoum government and a group of Darfur rebel movements which have put down arms and joined the government of President Bashir.  

He wished the parties would reach a solution that serve Sudan's interests.
-0- PANA MO/VAO 16Jan2016

16 january 2016 11:56:34

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