A Sudanese rebel leader on Wednesday ordered a three-month suspension of hostilities in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.states where his forces have been fighting government troops. "As a goodwill gesture... to give a chance for an immediate transfer of power to civilians, I, commander of SPLM-N announce the suspending of hostilities for three months in all areas under its control until July 31, 2019," the leader of the Sudan's People's Liberation Movement-North, Abdulaziz al-Hilu, said in a statement.
Hilu's announcement comes days after Sudan's new military rulers, who took power last week after toppling veteran president Omar al-Bashir, declared a ceasefire in all three of the country's conflict zones -- the western region of Darfur included. Blue Nile and South Kordofan lie on the border with South Sudan and there was strong support in both states for the decades-long rebellion that culminated in the south's secession in 2011. Fighting resumed in both states within months of independence, and the brutal conflict has since claimed thousands of lives. The SPLM-N was the northern arm of what is now the ruling party in the south and has allied itself with the protest movement that campaigned for Bashir's overthrow.
(With inputs from agencies.)