A key faction in the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) announced on Sunday that it started implementing a peace agreement signed with the government in Sudan 's restive western region of Darfur.
Saif al-Din Haroun, spokesman of Minni Arkou Minawi, leader of the main faction of SLM, told the Sudanese Media Center (SMC) that "We put down arms once for all and entered the process of implementing the peace process."
Repatriation of refugees and reconstruction of war-affected areas in Darfur are now the biggest challenge to the SLM after it signed the peace agreement with the government, Haroun said.
Minawi's faction signed the peace agreement with the government in the Nigerian Capital Abuja on Friday, deserting his rival faction in the SLM led by Abdu al-Wahid al-Nour.
Al-Nour's faction and another smaller rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Khalil Ibrahim, refused to ink the peace agreement, claiming the deal did not meet their demands, which include a Darfur regional government, a post of Sudanese vice president and compensation for victims of the conflict.
However, a senior assistant to al-Nour Sunday announced his breakup with al-Nour to honor the Abuja peace agreement.
Abdel Rahman Mousa lauded the agreement in a statement, saying it fulfilled many aspirations of the people in Darfur, the SMC said.
Mousa also blasted al-Nour, describing him as "a dictator who wants to foil Abuja peace negotiations."
He said that all military and political leaders in the SLM, except for al-Nour, supported the agreement and would participate in all stages of the implementation of the peace deal.