Sudan: Darfur rebels agree to African Union peace deal

The leaders of two major rebel groups met with the head of UNAMID in Paris to sign a peace deal in troubled Sudanese provinces, Darfur and Kordofan.

The leaders of two rebel factions in Sudan agreed to a six-month ceasefire in Darfur and Kordofan provinces on Tuesday.

Representatives for the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement’s Minni Minawi faction (SLM-MM) met in Paris to sign the peace declaration.

“The establishment of a durable peace is essential for all people of Sudan,” the two parties said in a statement published by Dabanga News.

“[We] remain resolved to adhere to the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) Roadmap Agreement of 2016 as the means of achieving peace for all Sudan.”

JEM leader Jibril Ibrahim and SLM-MM chief Arko Minni Minawi met with the head of the UN-African Union peacekeeping force in Sudan (UNAMID) Jeremiah Mamabolo.

Mamabolo said in April that he was considering an exit strategy for UNAMID, as the conflict was now winding down

“The Darfur of today is a very different place from what this region was in 2003 when the armed conflict began and from that of a year ago,” he said.

The Sudanese air force restarted its conflict against one Darfuri rebel group in the Jebel Marra region in April, allegedly launching barrel bomb attacks against civilian villages.

The rebel leaders noted “the Government of Sudan’s multiple and repeated violations… including continued aerial attacks in Jebel Marra” with “deep concern”.

Mamabolo said in April that this faction, led by the Paris-based Abdul Wahid al-Nur, was now severely weakened militarily but had still refused to join the AUHIP peace deal.