Washington urges Sudan’s warring parties to commit truce

September 30, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – The United States has urged Sudan’s warring parties to commit to a six-month cessation of hostilities and welcomed the Sudan Revolutionary Front’s (SRF) statement of September 15, 2015 including its commitment to a cessation of hostilities for the same duration.

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Rebel fighters from the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) on patrol in the border state of South Kordofan on 6 April 2012 (Photo: AFP/Adriane Ohanesian)

Last month, SRF factions expressed their readiness to sign a cessation of hostilities for six months in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states and Darfur region provided that Khartoum be committed to the inclusive dialogue process and accept the pre-dialogue process.

The Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir announced on September 22nd issued a republican decree granting general amnesty for the leaders and members of the armed movements taking part in the national dialogue conference. Also, he issued another decree declaring a two-month cease fire in the battlefronts.

On Tuesday, the US Department of State issued a statement urging the Sudanese government and rebel groups to “commit to a six-month cessation of hostilities and to begin working in earnest to turn these announcements into a sustainable end to Sudan’s conflicts”.

It also welcomed the SRF’s statement of September 15, 2015, including its commitment to a six-month cessation of hostilities.

“This statement [SRF’s statement] follows the Government of Sudan’s announcement in August of a unilateral two month cessation of hostilities,” it reads.

“If respected by all parties of the conflict, a cessation of hostilities would provide an enabling environment for a genuine dialogue to address the underlying causes of the political strife and armed conflict that have plagued Sudan for far too long”, the statement added.

The US Department of State pointed out that a suspension of fighting would also open the door for desperately needed humanitarian assistance.

It called on all parties to immediately facilitate unfettered humanitarian access to all populations in need.

“There is no military solution to Sudan’s conflicts. Further offensives only serve to increase the suffering of the Sudanese people,” it stressed.

The statement further demanded all parties at conflict in Sudan to seize this opportunity to end the wars and find a path towards lasting peace.

NUP CALLS FOR FORMING OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

Meanwhile, the deputy chairman of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP), Fadl Allah Burma Nasser proposed that a supervisory committee must be established to oversee the ceasefire and the humanitarian access to affected civilians in conflict-affected areas besides the agreement on the dialogue principles.

He told the pro-government Sudan Media Center (SMC) that his party approves of holding the national dialogue inside Sudan, saying however there are some preliminary procedures that must be taken as a prelude to the dialogue.

Nasser underscored that the NUP doesn’t refuse to engage in talks with the government, demanding all parties to overcome their differences in order to achieve the comprehensive peace.

(ST)