Sudan, rebel groups sign peace deal

JUBA (AFP) – Sudan’s government and rebel groups on Saturday signed a landmark peace deal aimed at ending decades of war in which hundreds of thousands have died.

Cheers rang out as one by one, representatives from the transitional government and rebel groups signed the deal, a year after the peace talks began, at a ceremony in Juba.

The deal covers a number of tricky issues, from land ownership, reparations and compensation to wealth and power sharing and the return of refugees and internally displaced people.

Ending Sudan’s internal conflicts has been a top priority of the transitional government, in power since longtime dictator Omar al-Bashir was ousted in a pro-democracy uprising.

“For us today it is a historic day… this will stop the war… we are very committed to the implementation of all the protocols agreed upon,” said Head of Sudan’s transitional Sovereign Council General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

“This agreement will help Sudan to transform smoothly to a state of justice, citizenship, freedom and democracy.”

Both al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, as well as the European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN), called on two powerful holdout rebel groups to join the peace process.