January 4, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese President extended the unilateral cessation of hostilities for three months, says a short statement released on the first hours of Thursday.
- Sudanese army soldiers and RSF militiamen ride on a tank outside the military headquarters in Kadugli, South Kordofan after recapturing the Daldako area on 20 May 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Nureldine Abdallah)
“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.
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 government’s declaration does not specify the areas concerned by the cessation of hostilities. Also, Darfur governors say the western Sudan region is now free of rebels.
The U.S. administration and Sudanese government are engaged in a process to normalize bilateral relations.
According to the normalization process, Khartoum committed itself to open humanitarian access to conflict areas in Darfur as the government has the upper hand on the grounds.
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. However, aid groups are operating in the government-controlled areas.
Recently, Khartoum announced the resumption of the peace talks this month but the armed groups didn’t confirm the announcement, nor the mediators.
The Sudanese government has been fighting the SPLM-N, which is now split into two factions, in South Kordofan and Blue Nile areas since 2011