Thursday, 04 March, 2021


Sudan rebels agree key peace deal

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok
Bennie Garza | 01 September, 2020, 20:25

Sudan's government signed a peace agreement with the country's five key rebel groups on Monday, a significant step in the transitional leadership's goal of resolving multiple, deep-rooted civil conflicts.

The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), a coalition of rebel groups from the western region of Darfur and the southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, signed the peace agreement at a ceremony in Juba, capital of neighbouring South Sudan, which has hosted and helped mediate the long-running talks since late 2019.

The agreement granted the armed movements the right to merge their fighters with the Sudanese army, in addition to forming a joint force between them and the Sudanese army to protect civilians in Darfur.

After the signing, Hamdok called the deal a "great work" and "the start of peace-building".

Darfur has been devastated since 2003 by a conflict that has left 300,000 people dead and 2.5 million others displaced, according to the United Nations.

Forging peace with rebels has been a cornerstone of Sudan's transitional government, which came to power in the months after Al Bashir's overthrow in April 2019 following mass protests against his rule.

The rebel groups are largely drawn from non-Arab minority communities that have long railed against Arab domination of successive governments in Khartoum.

The signatories to the deal included a faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A), the Sudan Liberation Movement-Transitional Council, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), and a faction of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

After the failure of several peace agreements, such as the 2006 one in Abuja, Nigeria, and the 2010 one in Qatar, yesterday's opponents understood that it was not just a security issue.

Conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile erupted in 2011, in the wake of South Sudan's independence, resuming two decades of war.

The volatile nation in the Horn of Africa is now run by a transitional government made up of military and civilian officials.

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