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Sudan’s 7+7 body welcomes SRF readiness for cessation of hostilities

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September 20, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s dialogue coordination committee known as 7+7 has welcomed the willingness of the rebel umbrella Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) to sign a cessation of hostilities for six months in the Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur.

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3rd meeting of the national dialogue national assembly in Khartoum on Thursday 20 August 2015 (Photo - SUNA)

SRF factions including the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the SLM- Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) held a series of meetings in Paris from 10 to 14 September dedicated to the SRF roadmap for peace and national dialogue in Sudan.

The three rebel groups expressed their readiness to sign a cessation of hostilities for six months in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states and Darfur region provided that Khartoum be committed to the inclusive dialogue process and accept the pre-dialogue process.

Following a meeting held on Sunday, the 7+7 committee issued a statement emphasizing the need for holding an exclusive Sudanese dialogue on the bases of its roadmap approved in August 2014, the Addis Ababa agreement with the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) signed in September 2014 and the committee’s statement on the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) resolution 539 in August 2015.

“We welcome the announcement by the armed movements in Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile to a cease fire in appreciation for president [Omer al-Bashir] decision in August 2015 to offer amnesty [for the rebels] and to declare cease fire”, the statement read.

On August 20 th, Bashir said he is ready to declare a two-month ceasefire in Blue Nile, South Kordofan states and Darfur region and renewed his offer of amnesty for the rebel who are willing to join the national dialogue.

The dialogue body further called on all the warring parties to immediately sign a cessation of hostilities agreement in order to protect civilians, provide humanitarian assistance and create an environment conducive for holding the national dialogue.

Also, it called for holding a meeting to discuss the necessary requirements for the participation of the arms bearers in the national dialogue, and praised the supportive role played by the African Union, friendly neighbouring nations and the international community to achieve peace and stability in Sudan.

Political and armed holdout groups refuse to join the dialogue process under the current conditions, asking first to stop war, allow humanitarian access to civilians in the rebel held areas and to ensure political freedoms.

Meanwhile, the political secretary of the opposition Popular Congress Party (PCP) and member of the 7+7 committee Kamal Omer Abdel-Salam said in a press statement Sunday the meeting of the dialogue coordination body underscored the need to intensify contacts to bring in holdout opposition and rebel groups.

“It [the committee] also stressed the need to visit several states in the region to brief them on the developments of the dialogue and ask them to mediate to convince the armed movements and [opposition] parties to participate in the dialogue,” he added.

He told Sudan Tribune that delegation from the 7+7 committee will visit Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and Uganda to ask for their mediation to convince the holdouts to join the dialogue process.

Abdel-Salam also said that several heads of states and ambassadors will be invited to attend the official inauguration of the national dialogue on October 10th.

Regarding complaints of newspapers against repeated confiscations by the security services, Omer said they seek to protect freedoms until the current laws were amended, noting that dialogue’s regulations state that the judiciary is the guarantor for liberties.

(ST)

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