November 3, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Head of the African Union United Nations Mission In Darfur (UNAMID) Thursday welcomed the extension of unilateral cession of hostilities by armed groups in Darfur and called for the signing of a comprehensive truce.
The Sudan Liberation Movement of Minni Minnawi (SLM-MM), Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) extended on 31 October an unilateral truce to 30 April 2017.
"UNAMID’s Joint Special Representative, Martin Uhomoibhi, commended the declaration and used the opportunity to, once again, call upon Abdel Wahid al Nur, leader of the Sudan Liberation Army- Abdul Wahid (SLA-AW), “to make a similar declaration to signal a genuine intent that peace is a strategic choice for him and his movement,” reads a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.
“Each other party to the conflict has made gestures to indicate willingness to engage in peace; now is the time for Mr. al-Nur to make such a gesture,” emphasised Uhomoibhi who is also the joint chief mediator for peace in Darfur.
The SLM-MM and JEM, two groups of Darfur region, are part of a peace process brokered by the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP). They also signed a Roadmap Agreement with the government in order to end the conflict and participate in an inclusive constitutional conference.
The SLM-AW refuses to join the negotiating table before to disarm the government militias, return of displaced population to their home villages and to end land grabbing. Also clashes between the rebel fighters and the government forces displaced thousands of people from Jebel Marra area.
Earlier this year, Uhomoibhi and U.S. Special Envoy, Donald Booth met with Abdel Wahid in Paris in a bid to persuade him to join the AUHIP process.
International officials say his refusal hampers the negotiations with the other armed groups, as his attitude encourages them to adopt a tough stance in the discussions with the government.