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Sudan’s al-Bashir renews calls for rebels to join peace efforts

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Sudan's bashir speaks at the opening session of the third Arab Conference for Agriculture Investment in Khartoum on 27 February 2017 (ST Photo)
June 5, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir Monday has renewed calls for the armed movements to renounce violence and join the peace process pointing to continued efforts to develop the military capabilities and defence system of the army.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, also known as the Two Areas since 2011 and a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.

Last August, peace talks between the Sudanese government and rebels under the auspices of the African Union failed to reach a cessation of hostilities agreement in Darfur and the Two Areas.

Al-Bashir, who addressed the meeting of the National Council for Strategic Planning (NCSP) at the Republican Palace Monday, pledged to continue efforts to develop the armed forces according to the highest standards of quality.

“Our call to achieve a lasting peace will not prevent us from seeking to build and develop our military capabilities and defence systems because peace that is not guarded by force will be subject to abortion and collapse,” he said.

He vowed to continue efforts to sustain dialogue among the various social and political forces to achieve development and improve the living standards of the Sudanese.

The Sudanese president pointed out that the national dialogue has offered answers to issues that have been the subject of controversy since independence, renewing commitment to implement the output of the national dialogue conference.

He noted that the outcome of the national dialogue would be integrated into the country’s 2017- 2020 strategic plan, saying the plan, once approved, would become the criterion against which the performance of the government of national concord would be measured.

WAR IN YEMEN

Meanwhile, Al-Bashir stressed that the Army, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and rest of the regular forces are ready to perform their duty when asked to do so, praising the role played by the armed forces to restore the legitimacy in Yemen and to combat terrorism.

He further vowed to continue to participate in Saudi-led alliance in Yemen until it achieves its goals.

The Sudanese army has been participating in the Saudi-led military coalition since 2015 in a regional effort to back the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after he was ousted from the capital Sanaa by the Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels.

Late last month, Sudanese military sources dismissed media reports that 80 Sudanese troops have been killed in Yemen saying only 21 were killed, including 4 officers.

Until 13 May, only 8 Sudanese troops have been killed since launching the Saudi-led Operations “Decisive Storm” and “Restoring Hope” in Yemen in 2015.

(ST)

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