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By AFP

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.

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