Sudan inked a ceasefire agreement with a second Darfur rebel group on Thursday, part of a government bid to resolve the conflict in Sudan's west before elections next month. According to Reuters, government officials signed the deal with the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) in Qatar, weeks after Khartoum inked an accord with Darfur's Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).
Sudan's Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha stated in the Qatari capital that Thursday's deal was an important step. "We call on all movements and factions including Justice and Equality Movement ... to join in serious and honest negotiations as soon as possible," he said. "We reiterate the commitment of the government of Sudan to press ahead with talks following this framework agreement," he added.
Thursday's agreement included a temporary ceasefire that would be renewed as talks progressed and a "framework deal" listing topics for further negotiations between the LJM and Khartoum, a diplomatic source close to the talks told Reuters.