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Sudan’s armed groups declare six-month unilateral cessation of hostilities

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April 28, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) has declared a six- month unilateral cessation of hostilities, and urged African Union mediators to organize a meeting with the government to make it effective .

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From the Left JEM Gibril Ibrahim, SLM Minni Minnawi and SPLM-N Malik Agar pose for a collective picture with other rebel leaders unseen here in 2013

In October 2016, armed groups from Darfur region, Blue Nile and South Kordofan states announced an unilateral six-month truce. However, since the end of last year, the fighting has been raging in the Two Areas with no end in sight.

"Following and building upon the declarations and commitments expressed in the Statement of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) of 17 October 2015 on a Unilateral Cessation of Hostilities, the JEM, SLM-MM, and SPLM-N, (...), hereby declare an immediate, unilateral Cessation of Hostilities for Humanitarian Purposes," says a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Thursday.

Signed by the leaders of the SRF armed groups Gibril Ibrahim, Minni Minnawi and Malik Agar, the statement says the truce will enter into force at 11:59pm (local time) on April 24, 2016 and will extend for six months to 11:59pm (local time) on October 24, 2016.

" The Cessation of Hostilities does not prejudice acts of self-defence, acts for the protection of civilians, or acts against uncoordinated moving targets," they further stressed.

Deputy Defence Minister, Ibrahim Ahmed al-Hassan Wednesday told the Sudanese parliament that the army has achieved major victories on the rebels in Darfur region and South Kordofan state. He further vowed to clear Blue Nile state soon from rebels .

While, Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf Wednesday paid a visit to Srounq, a SLM-Abdel Wahid stronghold area in Darfur located north-west of the Jebel Marra recaptured on 12 April.

The rSLM-AW group which is not part of the peace process says they are still fighting the army in the region.

SPLM-N rebels released recently pictures of weapons and ammunitions reportedly seized in recent clashes with the army and government militias. They also said they repelled government attacks on different positions.

MEETING THE GOVERNMENT

The SRF three armed groups called on the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to facilite a meeting with the Sudanese government to discuss the implementation of the cessation of hostilities.

The statement, which was keen to mention that this call was issued in agreement with their allies in the Sudan Call, further said this meeting will discuss " the details of a comprehensive cessation of hostilities , including plans for implementation, monitoring , verification, and the peace process".

The opposition groups of the Sudan Call held a meeting in the French capital from 18 to 21 April where they adopted a structure to coordinate their activities and reiterated their rejection of the Roadmap Agreement brokered by the AUHIP.

They also repeated their demand to implement the confidence building measures, including the cessation of hostilities before to join the national dialogue process inside the country.

The cessation of hostilities is part of the roadmap that Khartoum government endorsed last March but the opposition groups reject it because it acknowledges the internal process and excludes some of the Sudan Call groups.

(ST)

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