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Sudan looks to end decades of violence

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Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has left for South Sudan’s capital, Juba, ahead of the landmark signing of a peace deal with militia groups active in the country.

Hamdok left Khartoum on Friday, 2 October 2020, and will hold talks with the representatives of the Sudanese rebel movements, who are already in Juba for the ceremony. The Sudanese Government hopes that the signing will bring an end to decades of armed violence across the country.

A series of wars have been raging in Sudan for years, if not decades, but a final peace agreement next month is expected to bring a definitive end to the country’s multiple conflicts, if indications from mediators are anything to go by.

According to a team of mediators involved in initial peace talks held in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, in August, the main protagonists to the conflicts are on course for a landmark deal that will finally render all forms of hostility a thing of the past.

South Sudanese Deputy Defense Minister, Ruben Malek, who is one of the mediators, shared this optimism with journalists. He suggested that Saturday, 3 October 2020, would be a watershed moment for Sudan, given the expected signing of a landmark agreement that would end all wars and usher in complete peace.

Already, the authorities in Juba have been drawing the attention of leaders in the region to this approaching date, extending invitations to them to attend the occasion to finalise the deal.

Since the transitional government took control of Sudan, it has been reaching out to disparate rebel factions scattered in all parts of the vast country, with a view to reaching “the mother of all agreements” that would finally bring an end to decades of conflict.

According to Malek, something unusual has been happening in the course of realizing what, a few months ago, appeared unachievable.

“The uniqueness of this mediation is that the Sudanese are the ones resolving their problem by themselves. Our role is just to assert, advise and give experience, but they negotiated their agreement,” Malek said.

His native South Sudan has been mired in these conflicts, while still a part of Sudan until July 2011. The war for independence lasted for the better part of 20 years, before South Sudan became the world’s newest nation. However, other forms of conflicts, for the most part intertwined, had persisted in Sudan, most notably, in Western Darfur, including wars of a tribal nature.

While all other armed militias are jumping on the peace bandwagon, perhaps the only blot in this happy prospect is the Sudan Liberation Movement of Abdu Al Wahid  Mohamed Al Nuor, who have so far refused to be convinced to sign up to the spirit of the long, and sometimes arduous, quest for everlasting peace.

Only by convincing them to be on board the “peace train” will the Sudanese talks to end its conflicts be an all-inclusive affair, Malek warned. Sudan’s army of displaced people can’t wait.


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