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Sudan govt. extends unilateral ceasefire for six months

January 15 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Sudanese army soldiers in Blue Nile state (file photo)
Sudanese army soldiers in Blue Nile state (file photo)

Today, Sudan’s Council of Ministers, chaired by President Omar Al Bashir, decided to extend the unilateral ceasefire in Darfur, Blue Nile state, and South Kordofan for another six months.

The Council of Ministers also agreed to establish mechanisms for dealing with the consequences of the US administration's decision to partially lift the economic sanctions imposed on Sudan.

In a press statement on Sunday, the spokesman for the Council of Ministers, Dr Omar Mohamed Salih, said that the cabinet hailed the role of the Arab leaders, the African Union, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League, and the Non-Allied Movement, in supporting Sudan’s position.

The Council as well praised the role of the Sudanese Businessmen Union in funding efforts “which have reached [this] success”.

The Council further called for “more efforts to be exerted to fulfil Sudan commitments during the remaining period with the required transparency”.

‘Positive actions’

On Friday, the United States announced that it will lift a 20-year-old trade embargo against Sudan, and remove financial sanctions as a response to Khartoum's cooperation in fighting Islamic State and other groups.

President Obama also lifted a freeze on certain assets of Al Bashir's government, in light of Sudan's “positive actions over the past six months”.

“These actions include a marked reduction in offensive military activity, culminating in a pledge to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, and steps toward the improvement of humanitarian access throughout Sudan, as well as cooperation with the United States on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism,” Obama said.

The implementation of the decision will be delayed by 180 days to see whether Sudan acts further to improve its human rights record, and resolve its political and military conflicts.

Ceasefire

In June 2016, President Al Bashir announced a unilateral ceasefire for the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile state). Not much later the decision was extended to Darfur.

In October, the president extended the ceasefire until end 2016, and on 31 December, the ceasefire was extended again, with one month.

The rebel movements in Darfur (except the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid El Nur) and the Two Areas announced a unilateral cessation of hostilities as well last year.

They have accused the Sudanese military of violating the government’s cease-fire more than once in the conflict-torn areas.

(Sudan News Agency, Radio Dabanga)


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