STATEMENT

The prospects for a resolution of Sudan's internal conflicts have been enhanced by the latest initiative of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for Sudan and South Sudan's following talks in Addis Ababa. This is an important achievement in the pursuit of peace in Sudan and in laying the foundation for an inclusive and comprehensive national consultation.

The Roadmap Agreement proposed by the AUHIP outlines steps to end the conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas and to establish humanitarian access, while offering a framework for a parallel political dialogue that would eventually incorporate all parties in Sudan.

Progress on this initiative now requires the engagement of all parties. The 21 March signature by the Government of the Republic Sudan of the Agreement proposed by the AUHIP is a positive step forward. It encourages the Government to abide by the Road map Agreement, to consider immediate additional steps to build confidence among all the parties and to guarantee fundamental freedoms conducive to dialogue. The EU looks to the remaining participants of the Addis meeting to fully engage in this process. Good faith on the part of all parties will be the essential to progress.

In the meantime, violence continues, humanitarian needs are great and economic distress grows. Both government and armed opposition should extend their commitments made in late 2015 to unilateral cessations of hostilities. This would foster greater confidence among all the parties, give time to lay the ground rules for detailed negotiations and reinforce the efforts led by the AUHIP, supported by the European Union, to incorporate all political parties, movements and civil society into this vital political process.

Source: European Union

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