Addis Ababa — Sudan People's Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) leader Abdelaziz El Hilu has announced the extension of the unilateral cessation of hostilities until the end of this year. The announcement follows a round of consultative talks in between the movement and the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) that concluded in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa today.
Today's round of talks with AUHIP chief mediator, former South African President Thabo Mbeki, represent an attempt to revive the peace process and break its deadlock in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The SPLM-N delegation was led by Ammar Amoun Daldoum. The spokesman of the delegation, El Jack Mahmoud, said in a statement: "The consultative meetings that started in Addis Ababa will continue in an attempt to break the stalemate and revive the negotiating process".
He said the movement's delegation would also meet on the side-lines of the consultative meetings in Addis Ababa with a number of international envoys, including British envoy Chris Trout.
The statement confirms that "the delegation pushed forward with a package of proposals to break the deadlock in the negotiating process with respect to outdated terms of reference, developments of events, the start of the political file as an input, and the adoption of a productive negotiating approach.
The delegation was fully prepared to engage in the negotiating process with the real will and seriousness required to stop the suffering of war and to achieve a just and comprehensive peace.
After the conclusion of the talks this afternoon, SPLM-N leader Abdelaziz El Hilu, announced the extension of the movement's unilateral cessation of hostilities for a period of one month from December 1 until December 31, 2018.
El Hilu said that this is "in order to make efforts for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Sudan and to work to end the state of war".
The order to El Hilu's forces reads: "Based on this decision, the SPLM-N forces must hold their current positions and undertake no military operations except in the case of self-defence or protection of citizens".
Earlier this month, meetings between the Sudanese government and SPLM-N over the resumption of peace negotiations concluded 'without significant progress'.
The rebel faction and the Sudanese government were invited to several days of consultations in October under the chairmanship of the African Union High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Addis Ababa and Johannesburg.
During these meetings, the AUHIP and the government proposed to agree on three documents: the draft framework agreement for 2014, the draft agreement on the cessation of hostilities for humanitarian purposes, and the Roadmap agreement of 2016.
Amar Amun Deldum, the secretary-general of the movement, said in a statement: The government delegation "refrained from discussing national issues, which are to be discussed in the National Dialogue... The SPLM-N is not interested in the output of the National Dialogue because it has not participated in it."