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After Years of War, the Sudans Call it a Truce

Sudan’s government and the main rebel alliance agreed on a peace deal on Monday to end 17 years of conflict. The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), a coalition of rebel groups from the western region of Darfur and the southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, signed the peace agreement at a ceremony in Juba, capital of neighbouring South Sudan, which has hosted and helped mediate the long-running talks since late 2019. The final agreement covers key issues around security, land ownership, transitional justice, power sharing, and the return of people who fled their homes because of war. It also provides for the dismantling of rebel forces and the integration of their fighters into the national army. The deal is a significant step in the transitional leadership’s goal of resolving multiple, deeply rooted civil conflicts. About 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur since rebels took up arms there in 2003, according to the United Nations. Conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile erupted in 2011, following unresolved issues from bitter fighting there in Sudan’s 1983-2005 civil war. Two rebel factions refused to take part in the deal.