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SPLM-N al-Hilu declares six-month unilateral cessation of hostilities

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Abdel Aziz al-Hilu flanked by SPLA-N military leaders in the Nuba Mountains on 8 July 2017 (ST Photo)
August 2, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement -North led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu has declared a six-month unilateral cessation of hostilities.

"Based on the mandate and powers vested in me vide the Nuba Mountains / South Kordofan Regional Liberation Council’s resolution No. (4) -2017, supported by the decisions of the representatives of the Blue Nile Region, I, Lieutenant General. Abdalaziz Adam Alhilu, the Chairman & C-In-C of SPLM/A-N, hereby declare a unilateral six months cessation of hostilities starting from 31 July 2017 up to 31 Jan 2018."

"By this declaration, all SPLA-N forces and units are instructed to adhere to the declared cessation of hostilities, except in cases of self-defence," further said a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

This is the first time the SPLM-N al-Hilu announces a unilateral truce since the split of the groups into two factions earlier this year. The other group is led by Malik Agar the historical leader of the group.

On 2 July, the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir on Sunday issued a decree to extend the unilateral cessation of hostilities in war zones until October 2017.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the 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 June, the SPLM-N Agar said they repulsed an attack by the government forces in the Blue Nile state.

Talks between the government and the Movement for a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access are stalled since August 2016.

The mediation didn’t yet hold now rounds of talks.

Observers say the split of the rebel movement complicates the peace process, as the two factions vowed to hold a general conference and to restructure the group before to resume talks with the government.

Also, the SPLM-N Agar says it is willing only to discuss a humanitarian agreement with the government and refuse to engage in a political process to end the conflict.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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