Sudanese government extends unilateral ceasefire with rebels
Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) on Tuesday has renewed its commitment to the unilateral cessation of hostilities on all war zones.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of army officers in the presence of President Omer al-Bashir, SAF Chief of Joint Operations Hashim Abdel-Mutalab said the army is ready to complete the disarmament campaign to enhance peace in the country.
He underlined that SAF is holding the lead on all areas of operations, calling on the graduating officers to follow the bright path of the army and protect the nation.
Last month, the Sudanese president extended a unilateral cessation of hostilities on all areas o operations for a six-month period until the end of the year.
Three Darfur armed groups, Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minnawi (SLM/A), the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and Sudan Liberation Movement–Transitional Council (SLM–TC) on August 8 extended for three months a unilateral cessation of hostilities in Darfur region.
Also, two factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-North) declared a similar unilateral ceasefire.
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 Sudanese army has been fighting the SPLM-N rebels in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, also known as the Two Areas since 2011 and a group of movements in Darfur since 2003.
The Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, also referred to by some media as the Third Sudanese Civil War, is an ongoing armed conflict in the Sudanese southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile between the Army of Sudan (SAF) and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), a northern affiliate of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in South Sudan. After some years of relative calm following the 2005 deal which ended the second Sudanese civil war between the Sudanese government and SPLM rebels, fighting broke out again in the lead-up to South Sudan independence on 9 July 2011, starting in South Kordofan on 5 June and spreading to the neighboring Blue Nile state in September. SPLM-N, splitting from newly-independent SPLM, took up arms against the inclusion of the two southern states in Sudan with no popular consultation and against the lack of democratic elections. The conflict is intertwined with the War in Darfur, since in November 2011 SPLM-N established a loose alliance with Darfuri rebels, called Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF).