For the first time since the split of the group into factions, the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) will meet a delegation from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu (SPLM-N al-Hilu).
The head of the African Union office in Khartoum Mahmoud Kan said on Wednesday that an expert-level meeting with the SPLM-N al-Hilu will be held in Addis Ababa on 28 August.
“The six member delegation of the SPLM-N will be headed by Ahmed Abdel Rahman,” he further told the semi official Sudanese Media Center (SMC).
The rebel delegation is expected to brief the AU mediation team about the shift in the group and to present its position on the peace process.
By the end of July, al-Hilu declared a unilateral six months cessation of hostilities starting from 31 July 2017 up to 31 Jan 2018.
Earlier this month, the Sudanese government called to resume peace talks to end the conflict in the Two Areas before the end of a unilateral ceasefire declaration by President Omer al-Bashir in October.
A member of the government negotiating team, Abdel-Rahman Abu Median expressed hope that the African Union would agree with the SPLM-N’s new leader Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu to resume the talks as soon as possible to end the six-year war in the Two Areas.
Last April, the Nuba Mountains Liberation Council (NMLC), which led the rift in the SPLM-N, said the group decided to freeze negotiations for peace in Sudan until the settlement of internal divisions.
The other SPLM-N faction led by Malik Agar says ready for talks only on a humanitarian assistance agreement to provide civilians in the rebel held areas with the needed food and medicines.
The Sudanese army has been fighting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, also known as the Two Areas since 2011.