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Sudan's Bashir extends ceasefire with rebels for 3 months

Sudan's Bashir extends ceasefire with rebels for 3 months

Sudan

The Sudanese President has extended the unilateral cessation of hostilities in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states for three months, according to a statement released in the early hours of Thursday.

“The President of the Republic, Marshal Omer Hassan al-Bashir, on Thursday issued a decree extending the cease-fire declared in the operations areas for another three months,” reads the statement.

The purpose of the unilateral truce was initially to create a conducive environment for talks brokered by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to end the armed conflict in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states and Darfur region.

he President of the Republic, Marshal Omer Hassan al-Bashir, on Thursday issued a decree extending the cease-fire declared in the operations areas for another three months

The ceasefire was set to expire at the end of December.

The AUHIP-led process which seeks to achieve a “holistic” peace in Sudan has been stopped since August 2016 after the failure of the government and the armed groups in southern and western Sudan regions to achieve progress in the two-track negotiations.

The U.S. administration and Sudanese government are engaged in a process to normalise bilateral relations.

In October, the United States lifted 20-year-old sanctions tied to progress on progress on counter terrorism cooperation and on resolving internal conflicts.

According to the normalisation process, Khartoum committed itself to open humanitarian access to conflict areas in Darfur controlled by the government.

For South Kordofan and Blue Nile where the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-N) control some areas, the situation is different because there is no agreement on the humanitarian access between the warring parties.

Recently, Khartoum announced the resumption of the peace talks this month but the armed groups didn’t confirm the announcement, nor the mediators.

Fighting between the army and rebels in the Kordofan and Blue Nile regions broke out in 2011, when South Sudan declared independence. Conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when mainly non-Arab tribes took up arms against Sudan’s Arab-led government.

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