August 18, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - United Nations Secretary-General,Ban Ki-moon, Thursday has urged the Sudanese government and rebel groups to resume talks to reach a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access agreements in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
- Ban Ki-moon (Photo UN)
Last week, four groups from the opposition umbrella Sudan Call including the National Umma Party (NUP) and three armed groups; Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N), Sudan Liberation Movement - Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) had signed the Roadmap Agreement for peace and dialogue brokered by the African Union.
The peace plan provides that the Sudanese governments and rebel groups should engage in talks to reach agreement on a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access before the Sudan Call forces join the government-led national dialogue.
However, on Sunday following six days of talks in Addis Ababa, the armed movements and the government negotiating teams failed to conclude a deal on the security arrangements and humanitarian access prompting the mediation to suspend the talks indefinitely.
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Thursday, UN Secretary-General Spokesperson said Ban Ki-moon was disappointed that the Sudanese parties failed to reach an agreement on a cessation of hostilities in Darfur and the Two Areas.
The UN chief has strongly urged the government and the armed groups “to resume negotiations, abide by the Roadmap Agreement, and refrain from any attempt to escalate the conflict in Darfur and the Two Areas”.
“He reiterates that there can be no lasting alternative to a negotiated settlement and stresses that a cessation of hostilities is the first, indispensable step towards achieving this goal,” the statement added.
The Secretary-General expressed appreciation for the important role played by the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) which brokers Sudan’s peace, the hybrid peacemaking mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and his Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan to bring about a lasting peace in Sudan.
The Sudanese army has been fighting SPLM-N rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan since 2011 and a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.