An agreement between the Civilian-led Transitional Government of Sudan and the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF),was signed in Juba, South Sudan, on Monday, hopefully bringing an end to decade and a half of bloody conflict in Darfur and the Blue Nile, receiving wide acclamation.
The two sides initialed 9 documents that settled disputes ranging from power sharing, to amalgamation of eight rebel armies into the national army with new fighting mentality, to resettlement of millions of displaced persons and refugees spread into neighbouring countries and beyond.
"This agreement would never have materialized had it not been for the revolution removed the tyrannical government that was in place" said Yassir Arman, one of the leaders of the Revolutionary Front.
The deal brought together the federal government with leaders from Darfur and the Blue Nile regions. Darfur and Blue Nile are two out of the three regions that have continued to witness intermittent unrest well before a peace deal was signed between Khartoum and southern rebels in 2005, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which led to the independence of South Sudan. The third region is the Nuba Mountain Area.
The leader of the rebel movement from the Nuba Mountain area, Abdul Azia Hilo, said he wanted a clear demarcation between state and religion or he would call his fellow citizens in the area to opt for cessation. A round of talks is still planned with him in Juba, South Sudan, at a date to be set by the government of South Sudan, the mediators of the current deal.
Although the agreement has included Darfur rebel movements, still one splinter group, the Sudan Liberation Army of Abdul Wahid abstained. Its self-exiled leader, Nour, still believes that what has been achieved was not up to par with his demands, a total dismantling of all central Sudan's establishment.
However Sudanese Prime Minister, Dr Abdalla Hamdok and the Chair of the Sovereign Council, a collective presidency in Sudan, have appealed to Nour to join the process and said the door remained open for others to join it.
The deal was welcomed by the African union, European Union and the United States of America.
In a statement they issued Monday, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway (the Troika) welcomed the peace agreement between the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and the Civilian-led Transitional Government of Sudan, initialed on 31 August 2020 as the first step in a long process to rebuild hope and stability for conflict-affected communities in Sudan.
"The peace agreement lays a foundation for sustainable peace and stability in Darfur and other conflict-affected areas that is critical for Sudan's democratic transition." the three countries said in a joint statement on Monday.
They appealed to those who have not joined the process to do so. "The Troika urges the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North-Abdelaziz al-Hilu and the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdulwahid Al Nur to build on this achievement and to engage in serious negotiations with the Government of Sudan" in order to achieve the promise of a comprehensive peace called for by the Sudanese people in the revolution of December 2018.
They stressed "all Sudanese have the right to live in peace and enjoy the same privileges and responsibilities. Only a fully inclusive national process can address fundamental questions relating to the identity of the state.