Home | News    Friday 17 June 2011

Sudanese belligerents in South Kordofan agree to cease hostilities, initiate talks

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June 16, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The warring sides in Sudan’s South Kordofan State have agreed to cease hostilities and enter into negotiations, AU mediators announced on Thursday, after nearly two weeks of ongoing fighting has killed an unknown number of people and displaced thousands.

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Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir (R) walks out with former South African President Thabo Mbeki and First Vice President of Sudan and President of the Government of Southern Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit after a meeting, in Juba April 7, 2011 (REUTERS PICTURES)

“Both parties to the conflict have agreed to cease hostilities and enter immediately into negotiations whose details will be agreed after commencement,” former South African president who heads the AU High-Level Implementation Panel on Sudan (AUHIP), Thabo Mbeki, said from the Ethiopia capital Addis Ababa on Thursday.

Fighting in Sudan’s north-south border state of South Kordofan erupted on 6 June between north Sudan army, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), and elements aligned with South Sudan’s army - the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) - after SAF attempted to carry out its earlier threats to disarm SPLA fighters in the area.

South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) contends that its fighters in South Kordofan are northerners.

Heavy artillery and aerial bombardments were used by SAF in the fighting, which occurred mainly around the state’s capital of Kadugli and its close vicinity.

According to UN figures, over 60,000 people are believed to have fled the fighting which occurred mainly around the state’s capital of Kadugli and its close vicinity which were subjected to heavy artillery and aerial bombardments by SAF. Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed in atrocities committed by SAF and its allied militias.

South Kordofan is the site of oilfields and borders the troubled western region of Darfur as well as South Sudan, which is due to secede from the North in July after it voted to this effect in a referendum held in January under the 2005’s peace deal which ended more than two decades of civil wars with the North. South Kordofan is also home to the Nuba population which largely sided with the South against the North during the civil war.

News of the ceasefire deal follows an upsurge of rhetoric by North Sudan’s army whose official spokesman Al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad told a press conference in Khartoum on Thursday that SAF was currently continuing its military offensive in the state to put out the rebellion.

"We are continuing our military operations in the mountains around Kadugli up to this moment, until the rebellion stops," he told reporters in Khartoum. According to Sa’ad, the situation in South Kordofan was now under the army control.

However, despite the aggressive rhetoric, the army spokesman said that they were working on arrangements to integrate SPLA’s troopers in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile into SAF. He elaborated that these arrangements would seek to either integrate the soldiers into SAF, civil society or through the Demobilization, Disintegration and Reintegration program.

Sa’ad stressed that South Kordofan state is 100 percent northern and that no force apart from SAF would be allowed to carry arms after 9 July when South Sudan declares independence as planned.

Meanwhile, the cessation of hostilities deal was also confirmed by the secretary-general of the SPLM’s northern sector, Yasir Arman, who arrived in Kadugli among a high-ranking delegation of SPLM officials led by the governor of the Blue Nile State Malik Aggar and an AUHIP delegation as well as UNMIS SSRG Haile Menkerios. They held a meeting with the SPLM’s leader in South Kordofan Abdul Aziz Adam al-Hilu.

Arman told Sudan Tribune from Addis Ababa that the two sides had reached a cease-fire agreement, and that a delegation of the SPLM’s northern sector would immediately commence arrangements to enforce the cessation of hostilities and its concomitant political arrangements.

The SPLM official also addressed what he termed as the enormous humanitarian catastrophe created by the military operations waged by the government of the National Congress Party (NCP) which led to the displacement of thousands and killing of hundreds. Arman said that the delegation had also seen the effects of aerial bombardment in the area.

Arman said that the SPLA had so far “liberated six localities” and reported that the fighting was still going on in big towns, including Kadugli and vicinity of Al-Dilling.

In the meantime, UNMIS has urged SAF to open up airspace over South Kordofan, complaining that a six-day closure was “dangerously hampering” its operations to deliver aid to thousands of needy IDPS.

"It is vital that the government of Sudan acts immediately to ensure access to all airspace by U.N. flights to alleviate the growing suffering of those most affected by conflict," UNMIS spokesman Kouider Zerrouk said.

(ST)

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  • 17 June 2011 08:12, by Khartoum92

    I call on the Government to arrest them and charge them with endangering lifes of civilans..

    repondre message

    • 17 June 2011 08:22, by Pe_liel

      Right call Mr Khartoum! Those thugs of NCP and SAF must be arrested.

      repondre message

      • 17 June 2011 09:06, by Michael Anyong

        Addis ababa agreement is always no hope we could have stop going there even a normal journey!!

        repondre message

      • 17 June 2011 10:29, by Aleu

        This war could spread to White Nile State near Khartoum and also it could go further to Eastern Sudan region and Western Darfur.

        How many wars did the Khartoum government want to fights.?

        repondre message

    • 17 June 2011 08:32, by Liberal

      Why ceasefire in Southern Kordofan? Is it because they have gunned down your warplanes? Those are they same SPLA soldiers trained in Ethiopia that are giving you headach before SPLA proper intervention. You see how this semi-literate Bashir and his military officers want to enforce the childish policy that they want to disarm or intergrate them into SAF.
      Southern Kordofan, Nuba Mountains are tired of your senile policy that are based on maliciousness and conspiracy.

      repondre message

  • 17 June 2011 09:02, by Achuil

    President Omar Bashir will not respect anythings because he is man who distorted the laws,but if anyone does not respects the day,9 July 2011, we will not tolerates anymore. despite of what’s going on.

    Achuil Marop

    repondre message

  • 17 June 2011 09:47, by AndreaA

    All those days of 1970s, Addis Ababa agreement didn’t brings MOU(Memorandum of Understanding) between the two parties. Generally we southern Sudan must understand that and look forward to solve our issues out as long as we’re going to achieve the New Nation.

    repondre message

  • 17 June 2011 10:14, by George Bol

    I need to thanks SPLA in South Kordufan for the great job that they are doing so far. Keep on engaging the SAF the other part of SPLA will reach you soon after the clear the Abyei in just about some weaks remaing. SPLM/A oyeee

    repondre message

    • 17 June 2011 10:41, by Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

      Thabo Mbeki is not achieving what General Lazarus Seimbuyu had manufactured in a tin called CPA. Can you guys compare Thabo with Lazarus? It should be a time now for Thabo Mbeki to give up and leave this mediation to other competent AU Mediator.

      That ugly looking faces of the two leaders showed furiousity and anger in April 2011 and if that file picture is brought as a background of this article then, the subject of this article is meaningless and Thabo Mbeki is seen with shame smile. This is an indication that Mbeki has failed to accomplish his mandate. Better for AU to bring Lazarus to examine what he had manufactured- CPA in Sudan that is going to split on the 9th July 2011.

      repondre message

      • 17 June 2011 18:36, by sudinka

        The failure of international criminal court to arest and remove the existing regime from power Al Basher wrong leader using his all legal means in Sudan if the world is not looking in to this issue it will be other genocide in kordofan. like Darfure.

        repondre message

        • 17 June 2011 20:20, by Abyei Soil

          I think African Union High Level Implementation Panel [AUHIP] has changed their objectives from solving the disputes and bring both parties under mutual understanding within Africa before taking it to the rest of the world for further settlement to business. They are really doing business to settle their personal needs.
          President Bashir is semi illiterate as some suggest therefore, he only understand the language of commands which he honor since he was brought to life. I felt bad whenever I begin to imagine and think about my friends and families massacred in Abyei under the command of Bashir and his NCP govt for the sake of food. I don’t know what will take Bashir away in Sudan.

          repondre message

  • 18 June 2011 03:09, by Sam.Eto

    Why dont you look at your own grammar and language before you criticize others ! Bashir is the president of a country he is fully literate in his language. Whats yours ? He may not speak english well, but neither do the presidents of Russia, Germany, or China. Better illiterate then ignorant !

    repondre message

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