Title: The SPLM-N Statement at the Opening Session of the Addis Ababa Negotiations on
Author: SudaneseOnline News
Date: 02-13-2014, 07:26 PM
The SPLM-N Statement at the Opening Session of the Addis Ababa Negotiations on February 13, 2014
Your Excellency, President Thabo Mbeki, Chair of the AUHIP,
Your Excellency, President Abdul Salami Abubaker,
The Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Haile Menkerios,
The Representative of IGAD and the Government of Ethiopia.
The leader of the Sudan government delegation, Ibrahim Ghandor,
Members of the two delegations,
Ladies and Gentleman of the Press and Media,
President Mbeki, please allow me to once again convey the SPLM-N’s deepest condolences on the passing of the last African prophet of peace, reconciliation, social justice and democracy, the icon of the African and humanity’s struggle, former Chairman of the African National Congress, the late President Nelson Mandela, whose spirit and courage to create a society founded on equal citizenship - away from divisions based on ethnicity and religion - is much needed in the Sudan of today. From his vision, courage and determination, the Sudanese people can draw important lessons, mindful of their own particularities and the great history of Sudan, which is part of the Nile Valley civilization, one of the oldest and greatest known civilizations that has contributed significantly to the advancement of human civilization.
Sudan is passing through a very unique situation and we arrive at the peace talks again understanding that a new perspective and attitude are required in order to usher our country into a new era of just peace, democracy, and social justice which will allow a national consensus to emerge that can lead us to and through an agreed upon nation-building program.
I would like to affirm at the opening of these talks that the SPLM-N believes in a peaceful settlement, not a military settlement. A durable and sustainable peaceful settlement, however, can only and better be achieved through national consensus. It is high time for Sudan to move away from being defined by ethnic and religious parameters and instead to enter a new social and political dispensation that is built on unity in diversity and based on our commonalities. The diversity of Sudan is a blessing to its people and the unity of Sudan can only be attained by respecting its diversity.
The SPLM-N is encouraged by the signals from our sisters and brothers on the other side of the table that it is a moment for change; it is a moment for a holistic approach; and it is a moment for democratic transformation, social justice, and the respect of human rights including the right of equal citizenship. We believe the two parties can make this moment a reality by addressing the humanitarian tragedy taking place in the Two Areas, and thereby providing a model to be applied as well in Darfur and Northern Kordofan.
Without putting an end to the humanitarian crisis caused by the denial of access for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the populations in desperate need; and without stopping the aerial and ground bombardment of innocent civilians while also refusing to release prisoners of war and political detainees, the seriousness of these talks and the usefulness of this great AUHIP forum will be questioned by the Sudanese people, and in particular those who are in the war zones. The right for humanitarian assistance should not be conditioned politically and at the same time we are ever-ready to resolve political issues as well. Resolving the humanitarian crisis shall create a conducive atmosphere to resolve the political and security issues.
As the SPLM-N has stated repeatedly, it is high time to implement the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement of 28 June 2011, which will lead to a national constitutional process and a transitional government that carries the support of the massive majority of political parties and civil societies in the opposition and in the government and that is required by the AU resolutions and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2046.
Stopping the war from Blue Nile to Nuba Mountains to Northern Kordofan and Darfur and then addressing the root causes of war in a national constitutional conference are the only answers to Sudan’s political and economic crises. As we are speaking today, more than 70% of the national budget is being used by the government to conduct a war against its own citizens, which has resulted in crippling repercussions and war crimes. Sudan can only re-build a healthy national, regional and international relations by ending these wars and fully accepting democratic transformation.
We truly believe that the continuation of wars in the marginalized areas of Sudan will hurt the future of the unity of Sudan as it did before in the case of South Sudan. Therefore, we call upon the Sudan government to accept one forum to end the war with the Sudan Revolutionary Front; and we believe that President Thabo Mbeki, the AUHIP and Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Joint AU-UN Special Representative for Darfur, Head of UNAMID and Joint Chief Mediator, can work as one team to facilitate this new forum with the support of the African and international communities.
The SPLM-N came to Addis Ababa with an open heart and mind and with the necessary political will to amicably resolve once and for all, with our brothers and sisters from the Sudan government, the serious issues that prevent our country from becoming, once again, a truly great nation.
On behalf of the SPLM-N Delegation to the Addis Ababa Peace Talks
13 February 2014