Khartoum Truce Holds

The Monitor (Kampala)
February 2, 2002

The peace agreement on ceasing hostilities in central Sudan's Nuba mountains had been well observed by both the government and the rebel force, Sudanese Charge d'Affaires Ad'Dirdeiry Mohamed Ahmed said here on Thursday.

"Since the agreement went into effect on Jan. 22, there has been no violation of the cease-fire, and life in the region is returning to normal," he told a press conference.

"We are positive about the implementation of the agreement, and we are positive about the future of Sudan," he said.

The Islamic government in Khartoum has been fighting rebels in southern Sudan for the past 18 years in a war that has killed about 2 million people. The rebels want more autonomy for the mainly Christian or animist south.

On January 19 this year, a cease-fire agreement was signed by the Sudanese government and the main rebel group, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) under Swiss and U.S. mediation.

The agreement stipulates cessation of hostilities by both sides on the Nuba Mountain, international access to the region to provide humanitarian aids, redeployment of forces and free movement of residents.

They also agreed that from March 20 this year, international monitors will be stationed in the region to monitor the cease-fire.

"We really feel that there's quite a fundamental shift towards peace in Sudan, and what is happening right now in the Nuba mountains could be only the start of a comprehensive cease-fire," he said.