ADDIS ABEBA – The African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) has welcomed the latest agreement signed between the Sudanese government and 9 rebel groups in Darfur on Saturday.
The deal – a roadmap towards ending the bloody conflict in the Darfur region – outlines different issues the parties will need to negotiate during the latest round of talks in Juba.
Among the issues they agreed need to be tackled are the root causes of the conflict, the return of refugees and internally displaced people, power-sharing, and the integration of rebel forces into the national army.
The deal also states that the Sudanese government will address land issues, such as the destruction of property during the conflict.
UNAMID’s Joint Special Representative and Joint Chief Mediator, Jeremiah Mamabolo, commended the signing of the framework agreement.
“This is a very positive development confirming the political will and readiness of the parties to reach a comprehensive peace agreement,” he said. “We congratulate the Transitional Government of Sudan and the Darfur parties on this step and encourage them to continue in the same vein.”
“UNAMID shall continue to support the peace talks in Juba in line with United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2495 (2019) and within its capability in order to assist all parties to the negotiation process to achieve the ultimate goal of lasting peace and a prosperous future for all the Sudanese people,” Mamabolo added.
The Darfur fighting broke out in 2003 when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against Bashir’s Arab-dominated government.
Human rights groups say Khartoum targeted suspected pro-rebel ethnic groups with a scorched earth policy, raping, killing, looting and burning villages.
Bashir, who is behind bars for corruption and awaiting trial on other charges, is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for his role in the conflict that left around 300,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced, according to the United Nations.
However, there is fresh hope for peace after Sudan’s transitional government, led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, made peace in these areas a priority.