Rebel alliance ‘ready’ for six-month ceasefire in Sudan
The rebel Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) announced its readiness to sign a six-month cessation of hostilities with the Sudanese government and called on the regime to engage in a comprehensive dialogue.
At a five-day meeting in the French capital of Paris which ended on Monday, the SRF coalition of rebel groups discussed the political situation in Sudan and an “alternative roadmap towards peace and a comprehensive National Constitutional Dialogue”.
The communiqué released with the ‘SRF Roadmap on the Way Forward’ on Monday evening states that the Front is prepared to sign a six-month agreement for a cessation of hostilities for the objectives: 1) protecting civilians; 2) providing unhindered humanitarian assistance; and 3) creating a conducive environment for the peace process and National Constitutional Dialogue.
The cessation of hostilities in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile should be monitored by Unamid and Unisfa (in Abyei), the SRF said. The ceasefire should include the activities of all rebel forces and Sudan’s military and paramilitary forces.
Last week, US Special Envoy to the Sudans, Donald Booth, asked the rebels to respond to the government’s declaration of a two-month ceasefire in the three regions.
In its roadmap, the rebel alliance stresses its support for an inclusive preparatory meeting in Addis Ababa, under the auspices of the African Union and High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP). It would determine the nature and details of the national dialogue, which is scheduled to take place in Sudan in October. The pre-dialogue meeting was proposed by the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on 25 August in its resolution 539, which calls on Khartoum to accept to attend the meeting in Addis Ababa.
The rebels announced they will not consider participating in a national dialogue that is arranged solely by the ruling NCP. The SRF asks the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, South Sudan, Chad, Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Algeria, the United Nations, the Troika, the European Union, France, and Germany to collaborate to reinforce the African Union’s resolution.
The roadmap also stresses the release of political detainees by the Sudanese authorities, and to end the use of “hostile media and propaganda”.
On 9 September three leaders of the SRF members, the JEM, SLM-AW, and the SLM-MM, met with the international envoys and diplomats from the US, UK, Norway, France, and the European Union to request their support for the resolution on the national dialogue, and pass it to the UN Security Council.
The SRF members are signatory to the Sudan Appeal group, that includes the National Umma Party, the NCF coalition of opposition parties, and groups of Sudan’s Civil Society Organisation.
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