To further encourage the peace process, President of Sudan Omer Al Bashir declared an extension of the unilateral cessation of hostilities for one month, during his address on the occasion of Sudan’s 61st Independence Day.
Al Bashir declared “the extension of ceasefire, except in the case of self-defence, for one month in order to make the holdout opposition think positively to join the dialogue”.
Last June, Al Bashir declared a unilateral four-month cessation of hostilities in the Two Areas. In October, he extended the ceasefire for a two-month period, and renewed call to the armed and political opposition groups to join the internal national dialogue process.
He also said a higher committee would be established to draft a permanent constitution for the country.
The Sudanese army has been fighting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, also known as “Two Areas” since 2011 and a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003.
Al Bashir further underscored his government commitment to implement the outcome of the national dialogue, saying the dialogue’s doors are still open for the opposition to sign the National Document.
He disclosed that a higher committee to draft the permanent constitution would be formed during the coming few days, saying the constitution will be approved by an elected parliament.
Since January 2014, al-Bashir has been leading a national dialogue process whose stated aims are to resolve the armed conflicts, achieve political freedoms, alleviate poverty and the economic crisis, and address the national identity crisis.