Sudan rebels conditionally accept Bashir cease-fire
On Friday, Bashir declared a comprehensive four-month cease-fire in the states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan
By Mohammed Amin
Rebel groups have announced conditional acceptance of a unilateral cease-fire declared by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in the states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
On Friday, Bashir declared a comprehensive four-month cease-fire in the two states, the scene of an insurgency against the Khartoum government since 2011.
The rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) called for immediate negotiations with the Sudanese government in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to enforce the cease-fire on the ground.
In a statement on Saturday, SPLM-N Secretary General Yasir Arman said Bashir’s move was preceded by a similar ceasefire declaration by rebel groups in the two states.
"To avoid the two declarations being mere public relations exercises, we call upon the Khartoum regime to dispatch its delegation to Addis Ababa," for talks, he said.
''The priority objectives should address the humanitarian issues in the Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur, to stop aerial bombardment against civilian populations [and] the release of all prisoners of war,” he conditioned.
Friday’s cease-fire declaration by Bashir was the third by the Sudanese government in less than a year.
The Sudanese government and rebels held 11 rounds of talks for resolving the conflict in the two states, but no breakthrough has been made in the negotiations held under the auspices of an African Union panel headed by former South African president Thabo Mbeki.