Sudan’s main rebel alliance has reached a peace deal with the government aimed at ending 17 years of conflict, the state-run SUNA news agency said on Sunday.
The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), an alliance of rebel groups from the western Darfur region and the southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, signed a peace deal with the government on Saturday evening.
An official signing ceremony is scheduled for Monday in Juba, the capital of neighboring South Sudan, which has hosted and helped mediate long-standing negotiations since late 2019.
Senior government officials and rebel leaders “signed their initials on protocols on security arrangements” and other matters on Saturday evening, SUNA reported.
However, tTwo rebel movements rejected part of the deal – a faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement, led by Abdel Wahid al-Nur, and a wing of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), led by Abdelaziz al-Hilu.
|Sudan: Growing protests against insecurity in Central Darfur|
What the agreement covers
The final agreement covers key issues related to security, land tenure, transitional justice, power sharing and the return of people who fled their homes due to war.
It also provides for the dismantling of rebel forces and the integration of their fighters into the national army.
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and several ministers flew to Juba on Sunday, the news agency said, where he met South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.
Hamdok said it took longer than expected to reach a deal after an initial deal in September 2019.
“At the Juba declaration in September, everyone expected peace to be signed within two or three months, but… we realized that the issues were of great complexity,” Hamdok said. .
“However, we were able to accomplish this great work and this is the start of peacebuilding. ”
Rebel forces took up arms against what they said was the economic and political marginalization by the government in Khartoum.
They are largely drawn from non-Arab minority groups that have long denounced the Arab domination of successive governments in Khartoum, including that of the overthrown strongman, Omar al-Bashir.
About 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur since rebels took up arms there in 2003, according to the United Nations.
Conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile erupted in 2011, following unresolved issues resulting from fierce fighting in Sudan’s civil war from 1983 to 2005.
Forging peace with the rebels has been a cornerstone of Sudan’s transitional government, which came to power in the months following Bashir’s toppling in April 2019 following mass protests against his regime.
Previous peace accords in Sudan, including one signed in Nigeria in 2006 and another signed in Qatar in 2010, have failed over the years.