Sudanese generals and protest leaders, who signed a power-sharing agreement, arrived in neighbouring South Sudan Saturday for talks with at least one rebel group, a Sudanese official said.
Arriving at the airport in the South Sudanese capital Juba, General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, the deputy chief of Sudan’s ruling military council, told reporters he would be holding talks with Abdelaziz al-Hilu, a South Kordofan state rebel leader, among others.
« We are coming to Juba to meet President Salva Kiir to update him on the progress of the implementation of the peace talks and to have talks with Sudan opposition groups including meeting Abdelaziz al-Hilu, so that we see on how we can implement the recent peace agreement we signed in Khartoum, » he said.
An AFP journalist at the presidential palace in Juba saw Malik Agar, a Blue Nile state rebel leader, enter a room earmarked for the talks.
Protest leaders and their rebel partners on Thursday agreed to end their differences over the power-sharing deal signed with Sudan’s military rulers earlier this month, vowing to work jointly for peace.
The umbrella protest movement on July 17 signed the power-sharing accord with Sudan’s generals, which provides for a transitional civilian administration following the ouster of longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir.
– ‘Restore peace in Sudan’ –
« It’s our hope that they (opposition groups) will return to Khartoum after our meeting so that we restore peace (in Sudan), » the general added.
Daglo was accompanied by two other generals and two senior officials of the Sudanese protest movement, military council and protest movement sources told AFP.
The rebel groups spent years fighting government forces in the Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions of Sudan.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the three conflicts and millions displaced, with hundreds of thousands still living in sprawling camps.
The protest leaders and generals are still to sign a « Constitutional Declaration » dealing with outstanding issues — including justice for demonstrators killed during months of protests.
The rebel groups had demanded that the document call on the new government to make peace negotiations a top priority.
Once a peace deal is finalised, sources said the rebel groups want their representatives to be part of the transitional government.