Sudan gov't signs peace accord with Darfur rebel group

10:27, July 15, 2011      

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Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir (1st L front) and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani (2nd L front) attend the signing ceremony of the agreement between Sudanese government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) for the adoption of the Doha Document for Peace at the Sheraton hotel in Doha, capital of Qatar, on July 14, 2011. The Sudanese government on Thursday signed here a peace accord with Darfur rebel group, the Liberation and Justice Movement, marking a headway towards the lasting peace in the western Sudanese region. (Xinhua/Maneesh Bakshi)


The Sudanese government on Thursday signed here a peace accord with Darfur rebel group, the Liberation and Justice Movement, marking a headway towards the lasting peace in the western Sudanese region.

However, the absence of the two key rebel groups involved in the Darfur peace process, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA), triggered speculation to what extent the new-born peace deal could contribute to the final peace in Darfur.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani attended the signing ceremony of the Doha Document for Peace with representatives from the United Nations, Arab League and African Union.

Qatar's Emir Al-Thani, whose country has been mediating peace talks on Darfur since 2009, said the peace document was for the sake of a comprehensive end to the conflicts in the region.

The Liberation and Justice Movement, led by Tijani Seise, was an umbrella group established by several minor army factions.

The group has been in close coordination and consultations with mediators after it signed a ceasefire with Khartoum last March, while the JEM and SLA have shunned any contacts with the government.

Qatar-brokered Darfur peace talks have been stalled for most of the past year after the Sudanese government and rebel groups could not agree on key issues including power sharing and the refugees of conflicts.

Mediators said a comprehensive peace deal would involve all the parties including the rebel groups and civil societies.

Devastating fighting has erupted in Darfur since 2003 between ethnic rebels and the government forces, which have left around 300,000 people dead and 2.7 million others displaced, according to estimates by the United Nations.


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