According to Al Jazeera, Sudan’s transitional government has signed a peace contract with rebel group Sudan Revolution Front ahead of Sudan’s democratic elections in 2020. Sudan’s transitional government and Sudan Revolution Front met on Monday to enter into an agreement that hopes to end 17 years of civil war and over thirty years of civil unrest. The peace contract comes after ten months of negotiations with the Sudan Revolution Front, a coalition of nine rebel political and armed groups from different parts of the country including the conflict-torn states of Blue Nile, Darfur and South Kordofan.
The agreement is a collective decision to end the civil war and promises sharing of power in the forthcoming elections. Sudan Revolution Front will be allocated seats in government and land rights will reportedly be afforded to those displaced from years of the Darfur conflict. The rebels fought troops sent by former President Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted by the military in April 2019 after months of popular protest and replaced with a joint military-civilian government.
Amnesty International remarks that the signing of the peace contract is a signifying marker of Sudan’s transitional government following former president Omar Al Bashir’s ousting a year and half ago. Amnesty International, Director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena stated that, “The peace agreement presents a ray of hope for millions of Sudanese people in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, whose human rights have been systematically violated by the government of former President Omar Al Bashir and who have endured horrific violence at the hands of all parties to the conflict”
Al Bashir came into power in 1989 through military enforcement and allegedly played a role in Sudan’s 2003 civil conflict which led to over 300 000 dead and over 2.5 million citizens displaced. In February this year, Sudan’s Sovereign Council handed Al Bashir over to the International Criminal Court. The ICC has charged Al Bashir with three counts of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity for crimes allegedly committed between 2003 to 2008.
The public ceremony took place in South Sudan’s capital, Juba and was televised. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and the chairman of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and representatives of Sudan Revolution Front are signatories of the peace contract. President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir is said to have played a large role in mediating the agreement. Two rebel factions within the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North refused to take a part in the peace process.