JUBA (Sudanow) - Sudan and several rebel movements Saturday, in Juba, signed a package of peace agreements which are hoped to restore peace and stability to wide areas in Darfur and the Blue Nile ٍState and soothe grievances in the extreme North of the country, the East and the midlands.
The agreements were signed with the umbrella group The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) that brings together the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) of Minni Arko Minnawi (both from Darfur), the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM/N) of Malik Agar and representatives of pressure groups from the North, Center and East of Sudan.
The pacts were signed amid all sorts of celebration, with several heads of state and government from the region attending and addressing the massive gathering. The UN General Secretary also gave a recorded address.
Chairman of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, General Abdelfattah Alburhan gave an address in which he thanked the Government of South Sudan for making this peace, promised to honor the agreements and towards the end of his speech he led a chorus of all present in singing the famous Sudanese song (before the South secession) that begins “Sudan is our land and we are (all of us) brothers.”
Addressing the celebration, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok thanked the celebrities who graced the occasion and reiterated his project for Sudan’s development that divides the country into six ‘development belts’, starting from the rich savannah up to the River Nile region. His aim in this is to develop the country along geography with each belt to grow according to its climate and available natural resources.
The talks with the grouping, that spanned for a year, are described by the stakeholders in these groupings to have addressed the “root causes of the conflicts”.
The agreements had catered for the sharing of wealth and power between the central government and the respective regions, in addition to transitional justice, compensations and other issues.
The Darfur Track:
The agreements with the Darfur rebel movements have tackled the transitional justice, security, the lands issue, indemnities for the harms the citizens suffered under the defunct regime of General Bashir, the lands issue (responsible for a lot of conflicts between herdsmen and farmers), the sharing of power and wealth and the compensation and repatriation of IDPs and refugees.
According to the agreement, the Darfur region is eligible for 40 percent of the proceeds of oil and minerals revenues for ten years.
Darfur citizens will also be accorded 20 percent of the government jobs bottom up.
The Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan Regions:
According to the Agreement with the Malik Agar SPLM/N faction, these two areas are eligible for 40 percent of the two regions wealth for ten years.
The two areas were granted self-rule within the federal system of government and were allowed to establish a legislative system in keeping with the 1973 Constitution that recognizes both Islam and Christianity and guarantees equality in rights and responsibilities.
The agreement has also called for establishing a national commission for religious freedoms, with branches in the two areas that have Christian presence.
The SRF will be represented by three members in the Sovereign Council (the presidency) as well as five cabinet ministers. It will be represented by 75 seats in the proposed legislative council (the parliament.).
The SRF will also have a 40 percent share in the governments of the respective federal regions.
According to the security arrangements, the armed forces of these groups will be accommodated in the national army and the other security organs.
The accords will be effective today for 39 months, the tenure of the transitional government which will be followed with national elections.
For many Sudanese this is still partial peace. Two major rebel groups so far refrained from holding peace talks with the central government. These are the SPLM/N group, led by Abdelaziz Adam Alhilu that also claims to represent both the Blue Nile and South Kordofan, and the Dafuri Sudan People’s Liberation Movement of Abdelwahid Mohammad Noor.
Prime Minister Hamdok would often say he is in touch with both men, trying in earnest to lure them to the peace talks.
In this, South Sudan’s Chief mediator in Sudan’s peace, Aide to President Salva Kiir, said on Friday that Alhilu has agreed to hold peace talks with the Government.
In a more fresh development, U.S President’s Envoy to Sudan, Ambassador Donald Both, Saturday disclosed that both Alhilu and Noor had consented to hold peace talks with the Sudan Government.
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