January 10, 2020 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) – South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and the Deputy Head of the Sovereign Council in Sudan Mohamed Hamdan Daglo Hemetti discussed ways to resume peace talks with the SPLM-N led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu.
Hemetti was in Juba to open an exhibition of Sudanese products together with the Sudanese Minister of Industry and Trade Madandi Abbas.
In a statement issued after his return to Khartoum, Hemetti stated he discussed with Kiir the progress in the implementation of the peace agreement and the upcoming new transitional government with the participation of the Sudanese armed groups that clinched a peace agreement in Juba last October.
“We thank President Salva Kiir for his growing interest in completing the peace process in our country and his emphasis on the need to resume negotiations with the SPLM-N under the leadership of Abdel Aziz al-Hilu,” he added.
For his part, South Sudanese Presidential Adviser and mediator Tut Gatluak told reporters after the meeting that Sudanese official requested Kiir to facilitate the resumption of meetings with the SPLM-N al-Hilu.
“President Kiir reiterated the commitment of South Sudan’s government to continue its efforts to achieve peace in Sudan,” said Gatluak.
In November 2020, the Sudanese government and the SPLM-N held a workshop in Juba on the relationship between religion and the state, in implementation of the joint agreement between Hamdok and Hilu in a meeting held in Addis Ababa on 3 October.
However, Chems al-Din Kabbashi the head of the negotiating team and member of the military component of the Sovereign Council rejected an agreement reached by the workshop. On 8 November, he stated that Hamdok has no mandate to sign the joint agreement.
The move confirmed a difference between the government and the military component of the Sovereign Council over the way to negotiate with al-Hilu.
On 29 November Hamdok riposted saying he has a full mandate to explore ways to achieve peace and to end the war in the country in accordance with the Transitional Constitutional Document.