Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir issued on Monday a presidential decree on a general amnesty for elements of rebel groups in the western region of Darfur who have signed a peace agreement with the government.
The amnesty is applicable to all members of the main faction in the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led by Minna Arkou Minawi, who signed in the Nigerian capital Abuja on May 5 the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) in the presence of top mediators sent by the African Union (AU), the United Nations as well as the United States, Britain, Canada and other countries.
Exiled leaders of Minawi's faction had related their return to Sudan to amnesty in order to guarantee their safety, and a visit by Minawi to Khartoum, which had been slated last week, was also postponed.
Some field commanders of al-Wahid Mohammed al-Nour's faction in the SLM and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Khalil Ibrahim are also included in the amnesty, because they signed the DPA in the AU's Headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa last week.
Al-Nour and Ibrahim, however, still refused to accept the peace agreement, and demanded to add an appendix on power sharing to the agreement as a condition for their signature. But the demand has been rejected by the government.