Gatluak in Khartoum to reignite Sudanese peace talks

Gatluak in Khartoum to reignite Sudanese peace talks
NTC Chairperson Tut Gatluak (photo credit: courtesy)

The South Sudan Advisor on National Security and Chairman of the National Transitional Committee Tut Gatluak has traveled to the Sudanese capital Khartoum to reignite progress on the stalled peace process.

This comes after President Salva Kiir directed his Security Aide to explore ways of bringing the Sudanese Government and faction of Abdel Aziz al-Hilu-led Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) back to the negotiating table.

Battered by the recent coup attempt scare and the protest which disrupted the flow of oil export at Port Sudan, the Khartoum administration has been lately put to test and may need to move with speed to consolidate the fragile peace.

Upon arrival to the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Tuesday, Mr. Gatluak, who doubles as the Chief Mediator of the Sudanese peace talks, said he was sent by Kiir to discuss with the Sudanese Interim government the possibility of the resumption of the negotiations.

 “My visit to Khartoum came upon the directive of President Salva Kiir to discuss the schedule of next rounds of negotiations between the government and the SPLM-N to achieve peace,” Gatluak said Tuesday.

The negotiations were suspended due to a lack of consensus on the extent of separation of the state from religion and the integration of the Rapid Support Forces into the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) as demanded by the SPLM-N.

In July this year, Troika countries and United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan met with al-Hilu in Kuda and discussed ways of resumption of the negotiations to bringing lasting peace in Sudan and its citizens.

President Kiir repeatedly said “peace in Sudan is peace in South Sudan” adding that he would like to see total peace in neighboring Sudan for the citizens of both countries to live in peace.

In October 2020, Kiir brokered a peace deal between the Sudanese Interim Government and Revolutionary Front in the capital, Juba, but the group of al-Hilu objected to the signing of the agreement.

Last week, the Beja community of eastern Sudan also protested the content of the deal saying the agreement excluded them from the government despite being represented by the Easter Track.

The protest which startled authorities of the 98 percent oil-dependent South Sudan— exporting its crude oil through Sudan’s Red Sea Port—could raise a question of sustainability of the last Sunday’s agreement between the Sudanese government and protesters. The ended protest paved the way for the resumption of the oil transit to the world market.

The Sudanese government was yet to make clear the resolution of Sunday’s meeting as far as the protesters demand better services delivery.

Attempted coup

The plan to initiate talks comes after last week’s bizarre incident in which the sovereign government of Sudan survived an attempted coup the authorities blamed on the remnants of ousted President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.

The transitional government later revealed through a spokesperson of the military that the participants in the attempted coup were apprehended for questioning.

The Sudanese government later blamed the civilian leaders within the government for teaming up with military sympathizers of the former regime to stage the coup.

In a statement on September 22, South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said the government and the people of the Republic of South Sudan strongly condemn the failed coup attempt and urge the Sudanese government to hold accountable all those involved.

It added, “The government of South Sudan also condemns any external interference intended to derail the peaceful transition that is currently underway in Sudan.”