Sudan Government, Rebel Groups Sign Landmark Peace Deal

Shortly before the signing of the deal, the head of the South Sudanese negotiating team, Tut Gatluak, said, “Today we have reached a peace agreement. We are happy. We have finished the mission.”

Sudan’s Government, Rebel Groups Sign Landmark peace Deal
FILE PHOTO: Sudan's Sovereign Council Chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, South Sudan's President ...

Several rebel groups and the transnational government of Sudan signed a peace deal on Saturday to end the years of internal conflict in which millions of people have been displaced and hundreds of thousands dead in different regions across the country.

As the representatives of the Sudanese government and Sudanese Revolutionary Front, a coalition of armed groups, signed the deal, cheers rang off at the ceremony. This comes after a year of peace talks began at the capital of neighboring South Sudan.

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Meanwhile, the guarantors of the deal from the United Nations, European Union, African Union, Egypt, Qatar, and Chad also put their names on the agreement. Shortly before the signing of the deal, the head of the South Sudanese negotiating team, Tut Gatluak, said, “Today we have reached a peace agreement. We are happy. We have finished the mission.”

However, the fact that two power rebel groups, including the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) led by Abdelaziz al-Hilu and the Darfur-based Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) faction led by Abdelwahid Mohamed al-Nour, did not sign the deal, suggests that the peace agreement still faces challenges.

While the factions in Sudan have labeled this as the final agreement, the absence of the two key rebel groups of Sudan means that the peace deal was incomplete, Aljazeera reported. Not only that, but these groups are only armed factions with meaning military capacity and representing significant constituencies.

Bur earlier last month, the al-Hilu group signed a separate deal with the government, agreeing to a deal until the country’s constitution is changed to separate the state and the religion. The group has called for a secular state with no role of religion in lawmaking, as well as disbanding the militias of former President Omar and revamping the country’s military.

Moreover, the group has also warned that if its conditions are not met, they would call for self-determination in the areas it controls in the South Kordofan provinces and the Blue Nile.

Since last year’s overthrow of al-Bashir in the wake of a pro-democracy uprising, ending the country’s internal conflicts has been the top priority of the power-sharing administration. The new deal aims to integrate the rebels in the armed forces, have land rights, and be politically represented.

Following the signing ceremony of the agreement, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said that the peace in the country would open new horizons of property and development.

 

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