Sudan: Government, rebel leaders sign peace agreement
The Sudanese government and a coalition of armed groups called the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SFR), active in various parts of the country, signed a landmark peace agreement on Saturday, October 3, in Juba, southern Sudan, putting an end to 17 years of deadly war.
This historic agreement is the formal continuation of the progress made last August. Both parties had already agreed on the main points of this historic agreement. Each had initialed the document, and then negotiations continued until the formal signing that took place Saturday.
Guarantors of the deal from Chad, Qatar, Egypt, the African Union, European Union and United Nations also put their names to the agreement.
The agreement that crowns 13 months of negotiations consists of 8 protocols dealing, among other things, with land ownership, transitional justice, reparations and compensation, and power sharing.
The August text provided for a three-year transition to power-sharing.
The SFR was to be granted positions at the national level, including in the Sovereign Council, government, legislative council, etc.
A major conference on administrative divisions and their competencies was scheduled to take place within 60 days.
Then, each movement had to obtain concessions of power in its region of origin. In Darfur, for example, the rebels had to secure local positions and form a joint force of 12,000 men with the official army. The same was true in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, where Malik Agar’s SPLM-North (Sudan People’s Liberation Movement) had negotiated autonomy for the area and positions in the governorate and administrative bodies. In exchange, the rebel groups will over time be dismantled and integrated into the national troops.
“Peace will open wide horizons for development, progress and prosperity,” said the Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdock, who however acknowledged the “challenges and obstacles” that will have to be overcome.
Two rebel groups have not signed the agreement, namely the SPLM, led by Abdelaziz el-Helou, which is present in the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile, and Abdel Wahid Nur’s SLM (Sudan Liberation Army), which operates in Darfur.
The two groups have been urged to join the agreement so that the total pacification of the country be completed.