Khartoum has agreed to postpone to December 10 a new round of peace talks with major rebel groups that was scheduled this week in Juba, said Tuesday the Sovereign Council leading Sudan.
Established in August and composed of civilians and military, this council is responsible for overseeing the country’s transition to a civilian regime, the main requirement of the unprecedented protest movement that was launched in December 2018 and led to the overthrow of President Omar el-Bashir in April.
New talks with rebel groups were scheduled to begin on Thursday, but Khartoum has agreed to postpone them at the request of the South Sudanese authorities who are conducting the mediation, according to a statement from the Sovereign Council.
« The government hopes to resume negotiations at the new date, » December 10, assured Mohamed al-Taayichi, member of the Sovereign Council, in the statement.
Peace talks between representatives of the Sudanese government and rebel groups in western Darfur, southern Kordofan and south-blue Nile began in mid-October after the new authorities promised to pacify these regions.
In the first round of talks, Khartoum had authorized the delivery of humanitarian aid to those regions, where years of conflict have left hundreds of thousands dead and displaced millions of people.
Hope since April
The Darfur region has been plagued by a conflict that erupted in 2003 between ethnic minority rebels who perceived themselves as marginalized and former Bashir government forces.
Similar conflicts erupted in South Kordofan and Blue Nile during the secession of the South in 2011. « The chances of achieving a comprehensive peace in the country have increased since April, » said Taayichi.
« It will work to turn the page on the war and realize the desire for change towards a complete democratic transformation, » he added.
During the negotiations, Sudan announced a « permanent ceasefire » in the conflict zones.
An unofficial ceasefire had been in place since the departure of Mr. Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.