Sudan’s transitional government and main rebel alliance have reached a landmark peace agreement aimed at ending a 17-year-old conflict in the Northeast African state.
The SUNA news agency said on Sunday that the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), an alliance of rebel groups from the western Darfur region and the southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, had inked a peace deal with the government.
A formal signing ceremony is scheduled for Monday in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, which helped broker the agreement, with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and a number of his cabinet members in attendance.
The peace deal covers key issues including security, land ownership, power sharing, and the return of refugees to their homes. The dismantling of rebel forces and their integration into the country’s army is also included in the agreement.
Hamdok said Sunday that due to the complexity of the issues, closing the final deal had taken more time than he had expected following an initial agreement reached during talks between the two sides in Juba last September.
“At the Juba declaration in September , everyone expected peace to be signed within two or three months, but ...we realized that the questions were of one great complexity,” Hamdok noted. ‘However, we were able to accomplish this great work, and this is the start of peace-building.”
Two other key rebel groups have, however, refused to take part in the deal — a faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement, led by Abdelwahid Nour, and a wing of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), headed by Abdelaziz al-Hilu.
The transitional government took power in Sudan in August 2019 following the ouster of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir earlier in the year. The ruling council has since been seeking to make peace with the rebel groups, a key condition for the country’s removal from the United States’ so-called terror sponsor list.
The rebel groups — mainly from Sudan’s non-Arab minority — have been fighting Khartoum against what they see as economic and political injustice.
In Darfur, about 300,000 people have lost their lives since the armed rebellion broke out there in 2003, according to the United Nations.
The conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile erupted in 2011 over unresolved issues from Sudan’s 1983-2005 civil war.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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