Sudan has extended a unilateral ceasefire with rebels until the end of March, state news agency SUNA reported, citing a Thursday presidential decree.
The purpose of the original unilateral truce was an attempt to create a conducive environment for talks brokered by the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) to end the armed conflict in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, and in the Darfur region.
The AUHIP-led peace process ground to a halt in August 2016 after the failure of the government and the armed groups in southern and western Sudan regions to achieve progress on the two-track negotiations.
The US lifted 20 year-old sanctions on Khartoum last October. The move was tied to progress on counter-terrorism cooperation and on resolving internal conflicts.
Fighting between the army and rebels in the Kordofan and Blue Nile regions broke out in 2011, when South Sudan declared independence.
The SPLM-N, the northern affiliate of the Sudan’s People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in South Sudan, took up arms to fight against the inclusion of Blue Nile and South Kordofan in Sudan.
The bloody struggle in Darfur erupted in 2003 when predominantly non-Arab tribes took up arms against Sudan’s Arab-led government.
The ceasefire was set to expire at the end of December.
– African News Agency (ANA)