Inter- Sudanese talks stumble because of two sides' stubbornness
Sudan, Politics, 9/13/2003
Talks between the Sudanese Vice President Ali Othman Taha and the leader of the southern rebels John Garang are facing a difficult phase with the cling of the two sides to their positions. However, officials said that it is likely that the two sides will reach an agreement.
Taha and Garang have been in talks since nine days in order to reach an agreement that puts and end to the 20-year old civil war which has so far killed almost 2 millions.
Kenyan major mediator Lazaraos Simbayo said that there are "difficulties in any negotiations but we do not have a certain difficulty that can halt these talks." The southern African lawyer Nicholas Hasoum, the legal advisor of Simbayo said that "the talks are in a critical phase. Each of the two sides refrained from giving up its own position, but they are careful to reach an agreement, which is a likely matter."
However, an official in the Sudanese government said that the talks stumbled because of the difference over the sharing of authority and resources as well as over three areas demanded by the two sides which are Abya, al-Nouba mountain and the Blue Nile in the south.
The official added without details that the "talks yesterday experienced a setback concerning the sharing of resources, the authority and the three area. The people's army for the liberation of Sudan has prepared a paper that contradicted what we had agreed upon." On Thursday, a spokesman for the souther rebels (Sudan People's Liberation Army) said that the conflict about security arrangements had slowed the process of the negotiations. The Sudanese official said that no direct meetings were held between Taha and Garang yesterday because many members of the Sudanese delegation went out for Friday's prayers.
The Sudan People's Liberation Army said it is waiting for Khartoum to reply to several proposals concerning the said three issues including the security issue submitted to the government on Thursday late evening.
Security arrangements obstruct progress in Sudanese peace talks
Sudanese defense minister heads for Kenya to discuss arrangements for transitional period
Sudanese FM expects a breakthrough; Kenya: Taha, Garang achieved 'tremendous progress"'
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