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The New Arab

Sudan rebels accept Bashir ceasefire

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir declared the ceasefire on Friday [Salah Malkawi/Getty]

Date of publication: 20 June, 2016

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Rebels call for immediate talks in neighbouring Ethiopia to consolidate the temporary halt to their five-year conflict with Khartoum.
Rebel groups have conditionally accepted a unilateral ceasefire that was declared by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in the states of Blue Nile and Kordofan.

Bashir's declaration of a comprehensive four-month ceasefire came on Friday, and was met with a positive response from the insurgent groups the next day.

The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) called for immediate talks with the government to take place in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. 

"To avoid the two declarations being mere public relations exercises, we call upon the Khartoum regime to dispatch its delegation to Addis Ababa," said SPLM-N secretary general Yasir Arman in a statement.

"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 added, stating his conditions.

Khartoum has been battling insurgent groups that have continued to challenge its authority, despite the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that set the roadmap for South Sudan's independence.

The SPLM-N broke off from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement and remained in the north after the latter became the official army of South Sudan in 2012.

Five years of on-off conflict between the Sudan's army and the SPLM-N rebels have seen neither side gain a decisive upper hand, with successive rounds of peace talks Ethiopia also having produced few results.

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