President Kiir, JEM leader discuss peace in Sudan

President Kiir welcomes Gibril Ibrahim JEM leader in his office on 14 August 2019 SSPPU photo

August 14, 2019 (JUBA/KHARTOUM) – South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Wednesday discussed with the leader of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) Gibril Ibrahim ways to achieve peace in Sudan, in a bid to contribute to the resolution of armed conflicts in the sisterly nation.

As the South Sudanese are struggling to implement a comprehensive peace agreement, President Kiir repeated that helping to end the war in Sudan is intimately linked to the stability of South Sudan.

Despite the ouster of President Omer al-Bashir, Kiir said resolved to keep on his efforts and he hosted separate meetings last July between a joint delegation including the deputy head of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) and the two factions of the SPLM-N led by Malik Agar and Abdel Aziz al-Hilu.

In a statement released after the meeting, the South Sudanese presidency said that Kiir “held a productive meeting” with JEM leader Ibrahim as part of his efforts to restore stability in Sudan.

The statement went further to say that Kiir strives to bring the Sudanese armed groups to accept peace and to work collectively with the would-be formed new transitional government in Sudan.

In line with a deal struck by the TMC and the FFC, the transitional government has to negotiate peace agreements with the armed groups in Sudan during the first six months of the three-year transitional period.

President Kiir initial plan aims to bring the whole armed groups to take part in one forum in a peace process with Khartoum. To achieve this inclusive process he sought to reunite the two SPLM-N groups but he failed in this demarche.

Also, Juba failed until now to bring the two SPLM-N factions to accept negotiating under one mediation as al-Hilu calls for self-determination and keeping his fighters during a 20-year transitional period, while Agar has a more flexible vision on peace in Sudan.

For Darfur, the South Sudanese leader has to persuade the Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdel Wahid al-Nur to join the other Darfur armed groups and put aside its preconditions on the prior return of displaced civilians to their areas of origin and compensation before to engage in peace talks on the root causes of the conflict.

The South Sudanese presidency said the meeting with JEM leader focussed on ensuring that “all the movements are on-board for peace and stability in Sudan”.

The statement did not mention a date for the meeting between President Kiir with all the Sudanese rebel groups.

Two days ago the SPLM-N (Agar) deputy leader Yasir Arman said the rebel groups of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front will travel to Juba and Ndjamena during the upcoming weeks.

For its part, JEM in a statement about the meeting said that Kiir and Ibrahim besides the issues of peace, discussed the situation of displaced persons and refugees, ways to address the effects of war and the democratic transition in Sudan.