A Roadmap agreement aimed at forging a path for the parties to engage in political negotiation leading to ending hostilities and achieving broader political reconciliation in Sudan through a national dialogue was signed by members of the Sudan Call alliance of opposition groups. Signatories to the Roadmap Agreement include the Justice and Equality Movement-Gibril, the Sudan Liberation Movement-Minni Minnawi, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, and the National Umma Party.
The U.S., UK, Norway, Germany and the European Union welcomed the signing of the Roadmap Agreement, saying it “constitutes a valuable step towards ending the wars in Sudan. We urge the signatories to lose no further time in agreeing to a cessation of hostilities and modalities for humanitarian access in Darfur and the Two Areas.” The U.S. and its allies also commended the government of Sudan for signing the Agreement on March 16.
The resumption of intensified fighting in 2011 between the Sudanese army and Sudan People Liberation Movement-North in the southern regions of Kordofan and Blue Nile was a remnant of the civil war between the SPLM-A and the central government of Khartoum, and reflects the lack of implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement before and after South Sudan declared independence. The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when ethnic tribes took up arms against the central government of Khartoum to protest against political, economic and social/ethnic marginalization.
The Roadmap Agreement marks the first time Sudan’s political and armed opposition groups jointly signed a deal with the government since fighting broke out in 2011.
The accord lays out the process for a permanent ceasefire, the mechanism for the opposition to participate in a national dialogue between the government, and includes provisions for negotiating an immediate humanitarian aid.
The United States and its partners encourage opposition parties in Sudan to seize this opportunity to come together through a process of dialogue to achieve a political settlement addressing the challenges that continue face their people. Likewise, the government of Sudan should take all steps necessary to ensure a conducive environment for peace to succeed.