Welcoming a six-month unilateral cessation of hostilities by the Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minnawi and the Justice and Equality Movement-Gibril, the African Union (AU)-United Nations mission in Darfur today called on Abdul Wahid El Nur, the leader of the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid to also make a similar declaration.
“Each other party to the conflict has made gestures to indicate willingness to engage in peace; now is the time for Mr. El Nur to make such a gesture,” said Martin Uhomoibhi, the Joint Special Representative for Darfur and the Head of the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in a news release issued by the Mission.
Also in the news release, the Mission welcomed an earlier announcement by President Omar Al Bashir of Sudan of a unilateral cessation of hostilities till the end of this year.
The announcements by Sudan Liberation Army-Minni Minnawi and the Justice and Equality Movement-Gibril entered into effect on 31 October.
While noting existing challenges, UNAMID expressed hoped that gestures, such as the cessation of hostilities, would encourage all parties to the conflict to commit to a negotiated solution, including through the signing of the cessation of hostilities document presented to the parties by the African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) and in line with the Roadmap Agreement.
Further in the statement, Mr. Uhomoibhi underscored that the mission would continue to work to protect civilians in Darfur and creating a conducive environment for sustainable peace in the region.
UNAMID was established by the UN Security Council in July 2007 and it took over from the African Union Mission in Sudan in December that year. The mission’s mandate was extended until 30 June 2017 by the Council through its resolution 2296.