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Sudan’s armed groups extend cessation of hostilities for six months

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October 31, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Three Sudanese armed opposition groups Monday extended the unilateral cessation of hostilities in southern and western Sudan for additional six months for humanitarian purposes.

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A SPLA-N rebel soldier, in South Kordofan (AFP)

In a joint statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM), and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) recalled prior declarations of unilateral cessation of hostilities in October 2015 and April of this year and announced its extension for six months.

"The objectives of the extended Cessation of Hostilities are to protect civilians, provide unhindered humanitarian access to war-affected populations, and create a conducive environment for peace," said the joint statement.

The Cessation of Hostilities in South Kordofan, Blue Nile States and Darfur region "shall enter into force at 11:59 pm (SLT) on October 31, 2016, and will extend for six (6) months to 11:59 pm (SLT) on April 30, 2017," it further reads.

Speaking at the closing session of the National Dialogue Conference on 10 October, Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir on Monday has declared the extension of the unilateral cessation of hostilities in war zones for two months.

During a new round of talks brokered by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), the warring parties failed last August, to reach a humanitarian cessation of hostilities agreement.

For the Two Areas, the government refuses to allow rebels to get 20% of the humanitarian assistance through Ethiopia, while in Darfur the differences include Khartoum’s demand to determinate the position of rebel locations by GPS and the involvement of armed groups in a mechanism monitoring food delivery to civilians in the conflict-affected areas.

No date for the resumption of peace talks is announced, but the government Monday ruled out the resumption of talks for peace in Darfur soon.

The Sudan Liberation Movement- Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) which fights the government in Darfur’s Jebel Marra area is not concerned by this truce as it refuses to take part in the peace process.

(ST)

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