UN envoy pledges to convince SPLM-N rebels to ink ceasefire deal
March 20, 2018 (Sudan Tribune)
United Nations special envoy for Sudan and South Sudan has pledged Tuesday to support the African Union mediation in its efforts to persuade the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North led by Abdel Aziz al-Hilu (SPLM-N al-Hilu) to sign a cessation of hostilities agreement with the government.
Nicholas Haysom was in Khartoum on Tuesday for talks with the foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour to discuss the efforts of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to mediate a peace agreement between the armed groups in the Two Areas and the government.
In a statement released after the meeting, the foreign ministry said Haysom expressed his confidence that the renewal of the unilateral cessation of hostilities declaration by the government in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states has positive effects in the two areas.
The international envoy "stressed he will continue his efforts in coordination with the AUHIP to convince the leaders of the SPLM, to sign as soon as possible a cessation of hostilities agreement that paves the way for a permanent cease-fire and a political settlement."
Last February, in order to facilitate an agreement over a truce, the AUHIP delinked the security deal from the humanitarian assistance. However, the two parties failed to sign a cessation of hostilities agreement.
The difference between the negotiating parties emerged when Khartoum proposed that the cessation of hostilities be a step towards a permanent ceasefire and humanitarian access, a position developed during the past rounds of talks with the unified SPLM-N.
The statement further said the minister has briefed the special envoy about the security situation in the two areas and the stability achieved by the repeated renewal of the cease-fire declarations.
The Sudanese top diplomat, also, stressed the government’s keenness to maintain the cease-fire and not to resume the war, pointing that the measure contributes to creating the necessary conducive environment to reach a political settlement and peace.
The meeting also touched on the situation in Darfur region and the AUHIP efforts to end the conflict as the African Union Peace and Security Council directed the AUHIP to report on its attempts to convince the holdout armed groups to sign the Doha framework agreement.
According to the statement, Ghandour called on the international community and all the peace partners to persuade the leaders of armed movements to join the political process based on the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.
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