Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said Tuesday that a peace accord with rebel groups paved the way for national rebuilding by overcoming the grievances of deadly conflicts under ousted president Omar al-Bashir.
Rebel commanders from the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and Sudan’s transitional government initialed a landmark deal on Monday to end 17 years of conflict in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed.
The SRF – founded in 2011 – is an alliance that includes five armed rebel groups and four political movements from Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
In 2003, a deadly conflict broke out in Darfur between African ethnic groups and government-backed Arab nomads, killing around 300,000 people and displacing 2.5 million others.
Al-Bashir was deposed by the army during enormous street protests in April last year, before painstaking negotiations between the generals and a protest umbrella resulted in a power sharing administration later in the year.
The ousted president is wanted by the International Criminal Court over genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.
Conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states re-erupted in 2011 alongside South Sudan’s independence, six years after a peace deal between the south and Khartoum had paved the way for the secession of provinces to the south of those states.
“Peace remains the dream of the Sudanese people,” Hamdok told reporters on Tuesday.
The deal, which was signed on Monday in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, “creates a new Sudanese state, and remedies all injustices of the past,” he said.
Two rebel movements refused to take part in the deal.
“The government is keen to meet with them in the near future to achieve comprehensive peace to serve the interests of the Sudanese people,” Hamdok said.
The peace deal covers key issues around security, land ownership, transitional justice, power sharing and the return of people who fled their homes because of fighting.
It also provides for the dismantling of rebel forces and the integration of their fighters into the national army.
Sudan has been led since August last year by a civilian-majority transitional administration, which has prioritized forging peace deals with rebels.