The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has welcomed the signing of the Roadmap Agreement for Ending the Conflicts in Sudan by the Sudanese opposition groups in Addis Ababa on Monday.
In a press statement on Tuesday, Ban says that he is “encouraged by this valuable step towards ending the war and resolving the crises in Sudan”. He calls on all Sudanese parties “to maintain this positive momentum” and urges them to continue working towards an agreement on a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access to conflict-affected areas and the process for reaching a final, political settlement through an inclusive national dialogue.
Ban’s reaction to the signing echoes those of the ‘Sudan Troika’ (Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States), Germany and the European Union, who have all welcomed the signing of the roadmap agreement.
The agreement that was signed on Monday was proposed by the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) and signed by the Government of Sudan on 21 March. The allied opposition refused, insisting that a ceasefire, the delivery of humanitarian relief to the affected population in the conflict areas, basic freedoms, and the release of political prisoners to be addressed prior to their participation in the National Dialogue.
Progress was made to bring the parties closer together during meetings in Paris last month, resulting in the meeting in the Ethiopian capital earlier this week.
The leaders of 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) signed the roadmap on Monday, at a ceremony attended by Donald Booth, US Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan.