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Darfur rebel faction proposes UNAMID-monitored cessation of hostilities


July 4, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - A faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement Monday has proposed a cease fire agreement in Darfur to be verified by monitoring teams of the hybrid peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) to allow humanitarian access into Jebel Marra area.

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SLM Minni Minnawi (L) and Nimir Abdel Rahman sign a political agreement on 20 February 2015 (ST Photo)

During the recent months, Darfur mountainous area witnessed fierce fighting between the government forces and the Sudan Liberation Movement - Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW), causing massive displacement of civilians in the region, as others are still in isolated areas without humanitarian access.

Head of the Transitional Council of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (TCSLM) Nimir Abdel Rahman said that the government unilateral truce should be followed by a genuine agreement between the warring parties and a monitoring committee composed of the UNAMID peacekeepers.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Monday, Abdel Rahman said such deal will pave the way to open humanitarian corridors and allow aid groups to reach affected civilians in the remote affected areas of Jebel Marra.

Abdel Rahman previously was the SLM-AW spokesperson before to form the TCSLM with others members of the group. His group says they have a military force in Jebel Marra led by commander Mohamed Adam Abdel Salam "Tarada".

“without such agreement, the cease fire will be a lie, a diversionary tactic and a deception aiming to gain the support of the international community, especially the U.S.,” he further said.

The TCSLM leader meanwhile urged the international community to put further pressures on Khartoum to open the humanitarian access to save the lives of civilians stranded in Jebel Marra. He expressed readiness to cooperate in order to support the needy, particularly the rainy season has started and the IDPs are without shelter, as he said.

He warned that a humanitarian disaster may occur in Jebel Marra, saying thousands of civilians took refuge in the caves, in three areas : Dulu, Lugui and Sortoni, besides those who are in Tawila, Kabkabiya, Nirtiti and Galdu.

“They have no shelter, medicines, food and blankets. They live in a very bad humanitarian situation,” he added.

On 12 April, the Sudanese army declared Darfur a region free of rebels following the capture of Srounq area, the last SLM-AW stronghold in Jebel Marra.

United Nations agencies estimate that over 120,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in Jebel Marra area since last January.

Abdel Rahman further praised the efforts exerted by the international community, especially the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), the U.S. and other international actors to end the war in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

However, he called to not limit peace talks with three armed groups and the opposition National Umma Party led by Sadiq al-Mahdi.

They do not represent all the Sudanese opposition forces, whether political, civil or armed groups," he said.

“If there is a real desire for a sustainable peace, it will be better to have the participation of all political forces and to reconsider the Roadmap Agreement signed by the Sudanese government and the African Union mediator for the benefit of the citizen and the homeland", he stressed.

There are unconfirmed reports about peace talks between two Darfur rebel factions led by Abu al-Gasim Imam and Taher Hajer in Doha during the upcoming weeks, but the TCSLM or the SLM-Unity of Abdalla Yahiya are not part of the process.


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