A peace agreement between Sudanese authorities and key armed movements from Darfur could provide a path to national unity, the head of the joint UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said on Monday.
Sudan’s transitional Government initialled the deal alongside the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and Sudan Liberation Movement–Minni Minnawi (SLM/MM), at a ceremony held in neighbouring South Sudan.
Determination, courage and commitment
“I would like to congratulate Sudanese people on this significant step and commend in particular the signatory parties for their determination, courage and commitment to lasting peace in Sudan”, said Jeremiah Mamabolo, the UNAMID Joint Special Representative, who attended the ceremony.
It is expected that the peace agreement will end 17 years of often brutal conflict in Darfur.
Fighting between the forces of former President Omar al-Bashir, backed by allied militia, and various rebel movements, left around 300,000 dead, according to UN estimates, and millions displaced.
President al-Bashir was overthrown in April 2019 following unrest that began in December 2018.
“We hope that this agreement is perceived as the start of a process that includes all in a positive move towards peace, justice and national unity. This includes the full realization of the hopes, dreams and aspirations of all the people of Sudan, including Darfuris”, said Mr. Mamabolo.
Praise for South Sudan mediation
At the ceremony, the UNAMID chief conveyed greetings from UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the AU Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki. He also applauded the South Sudanese mediation team for facilitating the negotiation process amidst challenges.
Mr. Mamabolo hoped that those parties who remain outside will soon join the peace process to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the Sudanese people and the objectives of the December 2018 Revolution.
“To that end, the United Nations and the African Union remain committed to supporting this process to the very last day of UNAMID’s mandate”, he said.