15 February 2014

Sudan: Security Council Urges Cessation of Hostilities in S. Kordofan and B. Nile

Supporters of the government of South Sudan gather in Juba to show solidarity in the conflict with Sudan.

Khartoum — The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) welcomed the resumption of talks in Addis Ababa and urged the Sudanese government and rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan to stop hostilities and to reach a peace agreement ending the two and half year conflict.

Khartoum government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement -North Thursday started negotiations brokered by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) in Addis Ababa and based on AU and UNSC decisions.

"The Council members renew their "calls upon the Government of Sudan and SPLM-N to cease hostilities, engage in direct and constructive talks without conditions, and make the necessary concessions to reach agreement on ending the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States of Sudan in accordance with provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 2046 (2012)," reads a press statement released on Friday evening in New York.

The statement which signed by Lithuania's U.N. ambassador, Raimonda Murmokaite, president of the Security Council for February, further expressed the Council's "grave concern about the dire humanitarian situation" in the Two Areas, and called to stop violence against civilians.

The 15 member body also called to open "unhindered humanitarian access" to relief the needy population in the rebel controlled areas , including comprehensive vaccination campaign.

Reports from Addis Ababa say the two delegation resumed on Saturday direct talks after agreeing to not make public statements on the discussions.

The SPLM-N proposes a comprehensive process to discuss all the armed conflicts and constitutional issues with the participation of opposition and rebel forces, but the government says talks should be limited to the South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

Minni Minnawi, leader of a faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) criticized the SPLM-N for sitting on the negotiating table with the Sudanese government, while his group and other rebels from western Sudan member of the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) refuse direct talks on Darfur conflict.

Minnawi advised their allied rebel SPLM-N to demand the African Union to involve the other rebel groups in the peace process saying no comprehensive peace can be achieved in the absence of the other SRF members.

The Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur (SLM-Aw) and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) sent two of their members as experts in the SPLM-N delegation together with other representative of civil society and rights activists.

The SPLM-N leaders say they have to cooperate with the African mediation and abide by the UN Security Council decision 2046 which demands them to negotiate a peaceful end to the conflict in the Two Areas on the basis of 28 June agreement.

Last October, the African Union Peace and Security Council advised the rebel groups in Darfur to engage in direct talks with the Sudanese government on the basis of the Doha Documents for Peace in Darfur. The African body warned that it may demand the UN Security Council to take "measures" against them.

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