- Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on Thursday 20th August 2015 proposed a two-month ceasefire with rebels fighting to overthrow his government
- Bashir also set October 10th 2015 as the date for dialogue with all rebel forces
- Sudan has in the past attempted reconciliation processes which failed.
- The last peace process collapsed in January 2012.
Fighting in Sudan is primarily between the government and 21 opposition parties most of whom have turned into armed rebels, exchanging attacks especially in the Darfur region.
The conflict began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebel groups began fighting the government of Sudan, which they accused of oppressing Darfur’s non-Arab population.
SLM and JEM have since disintegrated into smaller but wider spreading armed factions but all against the government.
The government responded to attacks by carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Darfur’s non-Arabs. This resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians and the accusation of Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir for genocide and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The Sudan government is said to have and sponsor a militia, the Jangaweed, which is made up mostly of indigenous Africans making the fighting along ethnic lines complicated.
Together with the Jangaweed, the Sudanese military and police are fighting on the side of the government against rebel groups, notably the SLM/A and the JEM, recruited primarily from the non-Arab Muslim ethnic groups.
The number of human casualties from the fighting range up to several hundred thousand dead, from either combat or starvation and disease. There also have been displacements and coercive migrations with the international envoys describing the Sudan crisis as genocide.
There have been several attempts to bring peace between Sudan’s warring factions but none has materialized. The Sudanese government and the JEM signed a ceasefire agreement in February 2010 in peace pursuit. The talks were disrupted by accusations that the Sudanese army launched raids and air strikes against a village, violating the agreement.
The JEM, the largest rebel group in Darfur, which was set to gain most from the talks and could see semi-autonomy vowed to boycott negotiations.
Sudan amnesty offer and proposition of talks has a negligible chance of success and sustainability. Judging from the presence of so many rebel factions, it would be challenging to bring them all together to agree with similar terms. Far much challenging would be the question of power sharing between all the armed sides in conflict.
OSINT sources have indicated that eighteen of the 21 opposition parties that had initially agreed to participate in the dialogue at its inception in early 2014 pulled out this January 2015, leaving success of the reconciliation process with only a slim chance of going through.