Home | News    Sunday 19 June 2016

SPLM-N calls on Bashir’s gov’t to negotiate truce and confidence building measures

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June 18, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) has called on the Sudanese government to translate the unilateral cessation of hostilities declared by President Omer al-Bashir into a reality by sending a delegation to Addis Ababa to negotiate the issue under the auspices of the African mediation.

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SPLM-N leader Malik Agar (C) his deputy Abdel Aziz al-Hilu (L) and SG Yasir Arman pose for a picture in undisclosed location in the rebel controlled areas in March 2014 (AFP/Getty Photo)

Al-Bashir declared on Friday a four-month unilateral truce of hostilities in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states and called on the holdout opposition groups to join the dialogue process.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Saturday, SPLM-N secretary general Yasir Arman, said Bashir’s declaration was not the first of its kind, pointing that the Sudanese government and the armed opposition had previously made similar declarations.

“To avoid the two declarations being mere public relations exercises, we call upon the Khartoum regime to dispatch its delegation to Addis Ababa forthwith to meet with us within the framework of the AUHIP mediation process to operationalise the two declarations and arrive at mechanisms for the independent monitoring of the two tracks [Darfur and the Two Areas],” he said.

This must be done “within a comprehensive peace process whose priority objectives are to address the humanitarian issues in the Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur, to stop aerial bombardment against civilian populations, the release of all prisoners of war and political detainees - not least, detained university students, who are now virtually prisoners of war in regime detention centres,” he added.

The government and the armed groups of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) since last year announced several times an unilateral truce, the most recent was a six month declaration announced by the rebels after a meeting of the Sudan Call forces held in Paris on April 28.

The SPLM-N secretary general stressed that the Paris declaration has stated the SRF readiness to make the abovementioned move, renewing the SPLM-N’s readiness to discuss the cessation of hostilities and the humanitarian issues with the government.

However, he pointed that they are closely following the hostile moves of the government army in areas under the SPLM-N control in the Blue Nile , stressing they are ready to deal with it if they attack the rebel positions.

“The same applies to the Al-Azraq area in the Nuba Mountains, where there have been unsuccessful attempts by government forces and militias to reinforce their besieged forces inside the area and to evacuate the wounded,” he said.

"We will only grant such a relief operation within the framework of a humanitarian cessation of hostilities. Within such context, the SPLM-N would be ready to allow evacuation of government wounded combatants on the basis of a regionally and internationally monitored joint cessation of hostilities agreement" he added..

Arman said that this move should pave the road for the confidence building measures that are based upon addressing the humanitarian issues, allowing freedoms and ending the war in a simultaneous and correlative manner, noting that no opposition faction from the Sudan Call shall be excluded from the political process and the equal dialogue and particularly the National Consensus Forces (NCF).

SUDANESE COMMUNISTS SAY TRUCE IS NOT ENOUGH

The Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) also issued a statement on Saturday rejecting the four-month unilateral cessation of hostilities saying it is not enough to convince them to join the government led dialogue conference.

"Bashir’s declaration of a cease-fire is not enough alone. It must be completed and implement all the dialogue requirements in order not to reproduce the war again," said the statement.

It further reiterated the SCP refusal of the Roadmap and the international pressures on the opposition groups to endorse it.

The Sudan Call forces including the SPLM-N, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Gibril Ibrahim, Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) led by Minni Minnawim National Umma Party (NUP) and the Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) are currently holding a meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

The meeting is expected to tackle organizational issues pertaining to the alliance’s structures besides a proposed meeting with the chief African mediator Thabo Mbeki to discus reservations of the Sudan Call forces on the Roadmap Agreement.

The opposition leaders will also meet with the international envoys upon an invitation from the US envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Donald Booth to discuss the peace plan.

Three armed groups and the NUP last March refused a Roadmap Agreement for peace brokered by Mbeki, saying it would reproduce the regime.

The international community continues to exert efforts in a bid to bridge the gaps and bring them to ink the Roadmap Agreement, considering it represents a good opportunity to end war in Sudan and to open humanitarian access to the needy in the war affected areas.

However, the National NCF including the SCP and other left groups have distanced themselves from any discussions on the roadmap, saying these talks “ are between the mediator and the Ingaz regime, seeking a way out for the regime and not the people who are suffering under its rule”.

The NCF is a member of the Sudan Call coalition but says the regime is not credible and points that the popular uprising is the best way to achieve regime change.

(ST)

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