AU warns Sudan opposition over failure to sign ceasefire deal

Friday March 25 2016

A handout image made available by the African

A handout image made available by the African Union on November 18, 2014, shows African Union chief mediator Thabo Mbeki (centre) flanked by SPLM-N rebel delegation leader Yasir Arman (right) speaking during the closing session of week-long peace talks in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. AFP PHOTO | HO | AFRICAN UNION  

By MOHAMMED AMIN in Khartoum

The Sudanese opposition has up to five days to sign an African Union ceasefire deal or face reprisals, the mediation team has said.

The Khartoum government signed the deal last Monday in talks held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

On its part, the opposition declined to sign, accusing the head of the AU High Level Implementation panel (AUHIP) of siding with Khartoum.

In a statement issued on March 24, 2016, the head of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma urged the opposition groups to sign the agreement within five days, warning of action if they failed to do so.

"The Chairperson of the Commission commends the Government of Sudan for signing the Roadmap Agreement, as part of efforts aimed at addressing the numerous challenges facing Sudan'' the statement read in a part.

"I call on the opposition to urgently sign the Agreement, and latest by March 28, in order to give impetus to a process that shall lead to the settlement of Sudan’s multiple conflicts'' she said.

Public statements

"Desist from making any unhelpful public statements so as to avoid jeopardising ongoing efforts to achieve peace in Sudan'' the AU boss added.

The SPLM-N Secretary General, Yasir Arman confirmed receiving warnings that the AU Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council would take measures against them.

The opposition group, also called Sudan Call alliance, comprises of the armed movements of the SPLM-N, SLM Mini Minawi faction (SLM/MM), Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the National Umma Party.

The AU proposals include the signing of cessation of hostilities in the regions of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. It also suggests separate talks on the two areas and Darfur.

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