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Troika and EU countries call to resume talks for peace in Darfur

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North Darfur governor Abdel wahid Youssef (C) unidentified army general (L) and RSF commander Hametti inspect troops in Ain Siro on 1 June 2017 (ST photo)

June 1, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Troika and European Union countries Thursday have called the Sudanese government and armed groups in Darfur region to return to the negotiating table to reach a cessation of hostilities.

"The Troika (United States, United Kingdom, Norway) and the resident European Union Embassies in Khartoum are deeply concerned about reports of renewed fighting in Darfur between the Government of Sudan and Darfuri armed movements led by the Sudan Liberation Movement – Minni Minawi (SLM-MM), which began on May 20 after a reinforcement from outside Darfur by the armed opposition elements," said a statement extended to Sudan Tribune .

Recently, Khartoum called for an international condemnation of the joint attacks carried out by the SLM-MM and SLM-Transitional Council (SLM-TC) saying the assailants came from Libya and South Sudan. Further, the Sudanese authorities accused Egypt of providing armoured vehicles to the Sudanese rebels.

By mentioning "reinforcement from outside Darfur" for the armed groups, the Troika and EU countries reject the claim of the rebels that the Sudanese government militiamen attacked their positions in Darfur where UN reports repeat that the region was free of rebels.

"These new incidents of violence underscore the urgent need for the parties to finalise a negotiated cessation of hostilities and an agreement to return to political negotiations leading to a sustainable peace," points a statement issued by the Embassies of the Troika and the EU in Khartoum.

The statement urged the hybrid peacekeeping force to reach the areas where the fighting has been reported to verify and assess the extent of the violence and its impact on civilian populations.

" We call on all parties to show restraint, cease all military actions, return to the unilaterally proclaimed ceasefires and finalise as soon as possible a joint cessation of hostilities agreement," further stressed the statement.

The western embassies encouraged the government to show willingness to compromise in negotiations saying "This should allow for a swift return to cessation of hostilities talks, including the safe return of opposition groups outside of Sudan, and entry into a broader and inclusive peace process under the auspices of the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP)’s Roadmap Agreement".

Following the failure of the last round of peace talks in Addis Ababa in August 2016, the National Congress Party (NCP)-led government held its national dialogue conference and endorsed a framework for democratic reforms called the National Document.

Since the government omitted the Roadmap Agreement saying the holdout opposition groups can join the implementation of the National Document conclusions.

(ST)

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