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JUBA - 28 Jul 2019

Sudan military, rebel faction agree to pardon detainees

Sudan's ruling military council and a rebel faction have agreed to pardon all political detainees to bring peace, the military said Saturday. 

Speaking to reporters in Juba after meeting with General Malik Agar, leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North faction, Lieutenant General Shams El Din Kabbashi, a spokesman for the military council, said that they also agreed with the armed group to open humanitarian corridors to deliver assistance to areas affected by war.

He further said they agreed to drop charges levelled against rebel leaders who were convicted in absentia for involvement in events that occurred during the conflict.

"We agreed to pardon all political detainees affiliated to the various armed groups. We also agreed on how to design a common vision for peace,” he said.

The military spokesman noted that they also agreed on President Salva Kiir's initiative to mediate the peace process in Sudan.

Kabbashi said that the military has renewed its commitment to a comprehensive ceasefire across the country.” The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North faction led by Malik Agar also committed itself to renew the cessation of hostilities after consultations with the other components of the Revolutionary Front,” he said.

Kabbashi further said both sides agreed to engage the other opposition groups who are not part of the opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change Forces.

For his part, General Malik Agar confirmed that they agreed on a number of issues about peace and stability in Sudan. “It was a preliminary discussion that will definitely lead to concrete discussions in the future,” he said.

“We have agreed to open humanitarian corridors to deliver assistance to the areas affected by war. Also, we have to renew the cessation of hostilities,” he added.

Meanwhile, the deputy head of the ruling military council, Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo confirmed that both sides agreed on a number of issues about peace in the country.

"We will continue engaging all our brothers in the opposition movements inside and outside," he said.

Dagalo arrived in Juba on Saturday morning, where he met President Salva Kiir and Sudanese rebel leaders.

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known by his nickname Hemeti, was on his first trip to South Sudan since his appointment as deputy head of Sudan's military council following the April ouster of Omar al-Bashir after months of protests.

Hemeti, who also commands a paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces, is the one at the forefront of peace talks with opposition groups.