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Sudan rebels announce unilateral ceasefire

April 29 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Minni Minawi (L) of the SLM-MM and Yasir Arman, Secretary-General of the SPLM-N (file photo/RD)
Minni Minawi (L) of the SLM-MM and Yasir Arman, Secretary-General of the SPLM-N (file photo/RD)

The armed movements in Sudan are willing to lay down their arms for another six months, their leaders announced. The past half year witnessed no less fighting between the rebels and Sudan Armed Forces in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

The rebel leaders have asked African Union mediatiors to facilitate negotiations with the Sudanese government to put a cessation of hostilities into action.

The Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM), the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) announced a six-month ceasefire on 21 October last year. The Sudanese government announced a couple of shorter ceasefires in the meantime. Both parties disregarded these as clashes continued in the areas of conflict.

A joint statement by Jibril Ibrahim (JEM), Minawi, and Malik Agar (SPLM-N) stated that their cessation of hostilities has gone into effect in Darfur, Blue Nile, and the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan as of 24 April.

“We are committed to the ceasefire, while preserving the right to defence if under attack,” Ibrahim said.

“We decided to extend the [last six-month] ceasefire because we are convinced that war is not a solution. We always strive for peace.”

Minawi added that “the renewal of the ceasefire came as a gesture of good will to save the displaced people and refugees in the war zones”.

He called upon the African Union mediatiors to invite both sides to the conflict to sit down to activate this process.

On Thursday, Malik Agar spoke to Radio Dabanga and expressed his wish that the Sudanese government would announce the same, and that a mechanism between the two sides would be set-up under the AU High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to monitor the cessation of hostilities.

“The government has not respected the former cessation of hostilities by engaging in military activities in areas of conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile,” he claimed. “The SPLM-N has repelled the attacks in a responsible manner.”

Bombing in Um Dorain

The SPLM-N claimed yesterday that the Sudanese Air Force bombed Umserdiba in the Nuba Mountains on Monday. Six barrel bombs were dropped in the area in Um Dorain locality, causing fear among the civilians. No casualties were reported.

On Tuesday, an Antonov plane dropped four bombs on Nyakma, six more in Hajar-bago, and four bombs in the area of Heiban town. Several bombs in Urru killed seven goats.

The bombardment in Heiban locality caused a bush-fire to erupt, damaging the surroundings.

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