The Sudanese government and rebel groups on Saturday had a colorless peace deal aimed at ending decades of war in which hundreds of thousands died.
Ululs and cheers sounded one by one, representatives of the transitional government and rebel groups signed the agreement, a year after the peace talks began, at a ceremony in the South Sudanese capital Juba, according to an AFP journalist on the spot.
“Today we have reached a peace agreement. We are happy. We are done with the mission,” said Tut Gatluak, head of the South Sudanese Mediation Team shortly before the signing took place.
Guarantors of the agreement from Chad, Qatar, Egypt, the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations also added their names to the agreement.
Sudanese paramilitary commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo – best known by his nickname “Hemeti” – signed the agreement on behalf of Khartoum.
A representative of the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and others from the coalition groups also signed.
The SRF consists of rebel groups from the war-torn western Darfur region as well as the southern states of the Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
The peace agreement covers a range of difficult issues, ranging from land ownership, compensation and compensation, to wealth and power sharing and the return of refugees and internally displaced persons.
Under the agreement, SRF fighters are to be slowly incorporated into joint entities with government security forces.
Two other well-established rebel groups did not sign, reflecting the challenges still facing the peace process.