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Sudanese president extends ceasefire

October 9 - 2017 KHARTOUM
President Omar Al Bashir at a rally in Darfur (file photo)
President Omar Al Bashir at a rally in Darfur (file photo)

Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir has extended the government’s ceasefire in the country to the end of the year.

The official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported on Sunday that “The President of the Republic, Field Marshal Omar Al Bashir” issued a Republican Decree on Sunday, in which he prolonged the current unilateral ceasefire to the 31 December.

The decree said the extension is aimed to prepare the climate for the coming negotiations on the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile), “within the framework of the keenness of the government of the Sudan for achieving peace and stability in the country and to devote all energies for development challenges,” SUNA stated.

Unilateral

In June 2016, President Al Bashir announced a unilateral ceasefire for the Two Areas. Not much later the decision was extended to Darfur. The ceasefire was extended several times after that, the last time on 2 July, for a period of four months.

The Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement’s Minni Minawi faction (SLM-MM) jointly declared a six-month humanitarian ceasefire on 3 May.

As for the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), fighting the government in the Two Areas, the faction led by Abdelaziz El Hilu in South Kordofan declared a ceasefire for the period of six months on 2 August.

The warring parties have accused each other more than once of violating the ceasefires.

Sanctions

According to Sudanese opposition parties and rebel movements, Al Bashir repeatedly declared a unilateral ceasefire to appease Washington regarding the permanent lifting of its economic sanctions against Khartoum.

On Friday, the US Administration announced its decision to permanently lift two-decades-old economic sanctions on Sudan “in recognition of the Government of Sudan's sustained positive actions to maintain a cessation of hostilities in conflict areas in Sudan, improve humanitarian access throughout Sudan, and maintain cooperation with the US on addressing regional conflicts and the threat of terrorism”.


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