Sudan will allow humanitarian access to war-torn areas for the first time in eight years as part of a new roadmap enabling suspended peace talks to resume, a rebel leader said.
“We expect the humanitarian situation is going to improve in Darfur, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile,” Yasir Arman, deputy head of a coalition of rebel groups, told Reuters.
The Sudanese government and major rebel groups agreed to the roadmap and signed a declaration confirming commitment to it in Juba, which hosted the talks.
“Peace is the ultimate goal of the government of Sudan,” Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, a leading member of Sudan’s transitional government, said after signing the agreement. “Peace will open a new path for the country. I appeal to the international community to support the process.”
The roadmap includes a cessation of hostilities agreement, which both parties repeatedly broke. The parties agreed to resume talks after a two-week break.
An end to multiple conflicts in Sudan is a prerequisite for the United States to remove the country from its list of sponsors of terrorism.
Sudan is led by a transitional government after a coup in April overthrew autocrat Omar al Bashir after months of deadly protests.
The agreement to open humanitarian access Bashir’s government refused to do for eight years, Arman said.
“We believe we have a partner in Khartoum and there’s a new environment created by the revolution,” he added.