Sudan signs historic peace deal with five rebel groups

Graphic courtesy: Voice of America

FILE PHOTO: A protester holds a placard during a rally calling for a stop to killing in Darfur and stability for peace, next to a building in front of Ministry of Justice in Khartoum, Sudan September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

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 rebel groups that signed the deal include the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Minni Minawi’s Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), both of the western region of Darfur, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) led by Malik Agar, present in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

The final agreement covers key issues around security, land ownership, transitional justice, power-sharing, and the return of people who fled their homes because of war.

It also provides for the dismantling of rebel forces and the integration of their fighters into the national army.

About 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur since rebels took up arms there in 2003, according to the United Nations.