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Sudan renews adherence to unilateral ceasefire until end of year

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October 21, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government has renewed commitment to the unilateral ceasefire until the end of the year calling on holdout groups to join the national dialogue.

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SAF troops march during the concluding ceremony of Northern Thunder in Saudi Arabia on March 12, 2016 (ST Photo)

Last July, the Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir extended a unilateral cessation of hostilities for a six-month period until the end of the year.

Speaking to ruling National Congress Party (NCP) members in the capital of White Nile State, Rabak, the presidential assistant Faisal Hassan Ibrahim said the government is keen to achieve peace and stability in the country.

He urged the holdout opposition and rebel groups in Darfur and the Two Areas to join the peace and dialogue processes, expressing readiness to achieve and promote peace.

Ibrahim pointed to the government acceptance of the United Nations proposal to deliver humanitarian assistance to the affected population in the rebel-controlled areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

The Sudanese army has been fighting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (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.

Three Darfur armed groups, Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minnawi (SLM/A), the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and Sudan Liberation Movement–Transitional Council (SLM–TC) on August 8 extended for three months a unilateral cessation of hostilities in Darfur region.

Also, two factions of the SPLM-N declared a similar unilateral ceasefire.

The purpose of the unilateral truce was initially to create a conducive environment for talks brokered by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to end the armed conflict in Darfur and the Two Areas.

The talks with the SPLM-N groups to end the conflict in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile states are stalled as the mediators failed to bring the parties to sign a permanent ceasefire and to engage talks on the political issues.

Following the spilt of the SPLM-N in two factions, the mediation sought to hold peace talks between the group of Abdel Aziz al-Hilu and the government in vain.

For the other faction led by Malik Agar, the mediation deals with it within the framework of the Sudan Call opposition umbrella which includes armed groups from Darfur region and political parties.

Also, this process is impeded by the failure to reach a framework agreement for talks on Darfur conflict and the revitalization of a roadmap struck in August 2016 but no longer fits with the political developments.

(ST)

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