The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Army/Movement-Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) reiterates their continued support for the ongoing peace talks under the auspices of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), as well as their deep disappointment that the AUHIP was forced to adjourn the most recent round of cessation of hostilities (COH) negotiations for Darfur and the Two Areas without an agreement between the Parties. SLM-MM and JEM entered into these negotiations in good faith and prepared to make every effort towards reaching an agreement on a COH, but the Government of Sudan did not share ourcommitment to the good faith pursuit of a negotiated COH.
We have demonstrated our good faith not only by our signing of the Roadmap Agreement, but also by our having twice declared six-month unilateral COHs with our colleagues in the Sudan Revolutionary Fron
t. We have remained continuously willing to sit with the Government of Sudan to negotiate a COH for the benefit of the people of Sudan, and we engaged in this last round of talks in the hope that we would conclude such an agreement.
Regrettably, on 15 August 2016, the AUHIP released a public statement that incorrectly blamed the failure to reach a negotiated COH agreement on the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) while vindicating the Government. The AUHIP’s statement was incorrect, however, due to the fact that they did not take the opportunity to fully discuss with SLM-MM and JEM proposals and modifications made by them to the most recent draft agreement before adjourning the talks or before releasing its statement.
JEM and SLM-MM were prepared to move the negotiations forward and conclude a reasonable agreement. The Government, in contrast, insisted upon unreasonable positions regarding the disclosure of forces, humanitarian mechanisms, and the release of POWs. Additionally, the Government insisted on referencing selective resolutions irrelevant to the COH agreement. Further, it became obvious to the Movements that the Government negotiators were not empowered with sufficient political decision-making authority to reach a conclusive agreement on a COH, nor did they seek to advance the objectives of the Roadmap Agreement.
Still, we remain committed to the process and hopeful that further negotiations will move forward successfully. We look forward to not only swiftly achieving a COH agreement, but also to promptly move forward with the implementation of the Roadmap Agreement.
Trayo Ahmed Ali Ahmed Tugod Lissan
Chief Negotiator SLM-MM Chief Negotiator JEM