The Transitional Darfur Regional Authority (TDRA) was inaugurated Monday, marking a significant step of implementing a peace agreement signed between the government and a former rebel faction in the region last year.
An inauguration ceremony was held in the newly-built TDRA headquarters here, which was attended by government officials, representatives of the UN and the African Union.
The TDRA is composed of senior officials of the government and the former rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) as well as governors of the three states in Darfur.
Mini Arkou Minawi, the senior assistant of the Sudanese president and chairman of the TDRA, described the inauguration as "the real beginning" of the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) signed by the government and Minawi's SLM in the Nigerian capital Abuja on May 5, 2006.
Congratulating the Sudanese people and the Darfurians for the occasion, Minawi announced that the TDRA began to carry out its political, security, economic and humanitarian duties from now on.
He said that the TDRA was to exert efforts to rebuild and rehabilitate the Darfur region, realize a comprehensive development and provide basic services for local residents.
Nouraddin Mazeni, the spokesman of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS), said that the inauguration was "a auspicious beginning" for the Darfurians who would feel that the DPA began to bear its fruits.
He stressed the necessity that the Darfur peace should be comprehensive without excepting any one, welcoming all the initiatives aimed at realizing the peace in Darfur and the coordination between the UN, the AU and the Sudanese government.
Following the inauguration ceremony, the TDRA held its first meeting to discuss its next steps to enhance the implementation of the DPA and to improve the general situation in Darfur.
The TDRA was established according to a decree issued by Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir in August last year in accordance with the AU-sponsored DPA.
The Sudanese government has urged the international society to exert more pressures on the rebel movements which have refused to sign the DPA to bring them back to the negotiation table in order to end the four-year long conflict in Darfur.