Sudanese gov't to ink peace framework with Darfur's rebel group

08:31, March 18, 2010      

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The Sudanese government is expected to sign here on Thursday a peace framework with the Liberation and Justice Movement(LJM), a newly-integrated rebel group, in a step aimed at ending years of conflicts in Darfur.

The accord would be the second the Sudanese government inked within a month with rebel groups in the western Sudanese region.

On Feb. 23, Sudan signed a temporary ceasefire deal with the Justice and Equality Movement, a key rebel group, breaking up a standstill in Darfur's peace process.

The LJM was formed by ten rebel groups shortly before that signature.

Representatives of the LJM has been in Doha to prepare for talks with the Sudanese government on a possible framework agreement. The mediator Qatar said the date for signing the deal was reached after extensive consultations.

Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohammad Taha arrived in Doha late Wednesday heading a high-level delegation for Thursday's signing ceremony, Qatar News Agency reported.

Devastating fightings in Darfur since 2003 between ethnic rebels and the Sudanese government forces have left around 300,000 people dead and 2.7 million others displaced, according to the United Nations.

The UN Security Council in 2008 dispatched a hybrid force, the African Union/United Nations Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID), in a mission to the volatile region to stamp out unabated violence and protect civilians.

Sudan has expressed the hope that other rebel groups could also return to negotiations with the government, but the hardline Sudan Liberation Army has so far shunned the offer.

Source: Xinhua
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