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Sudanese govt, eastern rebels agree on ceasefire modalities

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July 4, 2006 (TESSENEI) — Sudanese army and eastern Sudan rebel group signed a military protocol to implement to ceasefire agreement signed last month.

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Rebel Eastern Front delegation to ceasefire modalities talks with the Sudanese army, Mussa Osman Issa the rebel signatory is the first on the left. 4 July 2006. (Shabait)

A Sudanese military delegation and the rebel Eastern Front “signed in Tessenei a document on action program regarding the signing of security and military agreements on June 27”, the official website of the Eritrean ministry of Information reported.

Sudan’s government and eastern rebels signed a pact to cease hostilities and agreed a framework for future talks on Monday 19 June to end a long-simmering insurgency in the remote but economically important region.

The new agreement on cessation of hostilities obliges the two sides to desist from any movement from the places they had occupied prior to June 19, designate army officers who would implement the agreement drawn from both of them and representatives of the Eritrean government in five stations that separates the two parties. This is to say the area around the Red Sea, Setit River, Barka River, Kerayit and Lafa towards facilitating the implementation of the peace process and stability of Sudan.

On the Eritrean side, the Head of Organizational Affairs at Eritrea’s ruling party, the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), Abdalla Jabir, and the Commander of Operation Zone 1, Brig. General Tekle Kiflai, and on the Sudanese government side, General Hassan Mohamed Al-Amin and. Mussa Osman Issa from the East Sudan Front signed the agreement.

Meanwhile, the East Sudan Front is holding a three-day congress starting July 2 in Tessenei town on the implementation of the Agreement on Declaration of Principles and cessation of hostilities.

The Eastern Front controls an area on the Sudanese-Eritrean border around the town of Hamesh Koreb and has been involved in low-intensity guerrilla activity against the Khartoum government for years.

The Khartoum government says the latest push to defuse the crisis in the east is part of an attempt to pacify the whole of Sudan by building on peace agreements reached recently with other rebels.

A peace accord was signed in January 2005 to end a 21-year-old north-south civil war, and efforts are still under way to stabilise the western region of Darfur after rebels there signed a deal with Khartoum last month.

(ST)

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