The international community urged the fresh signatories of the roadmap agreement in Addis Ababa to quickly agree on a cessation of hostilities in Sudan's conflict areas with the Sudanese government.
The Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States), Germany and the European Union have welcomed the signing of the roadmap agreement by the delegation of Sudanese rebel groups in the Ethiopian capital yesterday.
The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM), the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), and the National Umma Party (also known as the Sudan Appeal) “demonstrated a laudable commitment to ending the conflicts in Sudan and moving towards a process of dialogue as a basis for lasting peace in their country”, a joint statement by the Troika and the EU read.
“We recognise that the opposition had expressed valid concerns which have been noted by the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP). We believe these would constitute legitimate agenda items for any preparatory meetings.”
Prior to this signature, the opposition refused to sign the roadmap that the AUHP proposed in March this year. At a consultative meeting in Addis Ababa where the roadmap was presentend, the Sudan Appeal cited factors such as the ongoing conflict in Darfur and the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile states), as well as disagreement with the government on whether to hold the National Dialogue in Sudan or abroad, among impediments to signing the agreement.
The Sudan Appeal reconsidered its position during meetings in Paris on 21 July, after it sent a memorandum of understanding to the AUHIP mediators and requested to add a supplemental document to the roadmap.
Now that the roadmap agreement is signed by both parties, the Troika and the EU see it as a “valuable step towards ending the wars in Sudan.
“We urge the signatories to lose no further time in agreeing a cessation of hostilities and modalities for humanitarian access in Darfur and the Two Areas. In parallel, we encourage opposition parties in Sudan to seize this opportunity to come together inside a process of dialogue to achieve a political settlement addressing the challenges that continue to face their people. And we appeal to the Government of Sudan to take all necessary steps to ensure a conducive environment for this process to succeed.”
Not all rebels join
The Troika and the EU also commended the Sudanese government for signing the roadmap before, on 16 March.
The SLM under the command of Abdel Wahid El Nur does not take part in the negotiations with the government. The SLM-AW continues fighting the Sudanese army in Jebel Marra in Darfur.