By Deng Machol
Juba – Sudan’s transitional government will finalize a Juba peace deal with key rebel or armed groups under the Sudan revolutionary movements on Saturday in the neighbouring country of South Sudan.
This comes after Sudan’s government and leaders from the main coalition of rebel groups, initiated a historic Juba peace deal on August 31, aimed at ending nearly two decades of conflict in the region.
The August Accord was inked by the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), a coalition of rebel groups from the western region of Darfur and the southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile, but the two rebel factions of SLM/A and SPLM/A – N respectively refused to ink the deal. The two holdout groups are largely drawn from non – Arab minority groups that long railed Arab domination of successive regimes in Khartoum, including that of toppled president Bashir.
The final signing ceremony will take place at Dr. John Garang Museleom and will be witnessed by heads of the state, including Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Chad and other senior government officials from the international and the regional bodies.
President Kiir’s government has been mediating the long – running talks since late 2019 between the transitional government and a coalition armed groups from the western region of Darfur and the southern states of South Kordofan and Blue Niles to help his foes comrades to reach a durable peace, followed the oust of former tyranny president Omer Al-Bashir.
The Juba final deal covers key issues around security, land ownership, transitional justice, power – sharing and the return of people who fled their homes because of war.
It also provides for the dismantling of rebel forces and the integration of their fighters into the national army.
Addressing the press on Thursday in Juba, Chief mediator, Tut Gatluak, said holdout groups will then be urged to come to negotiating table to ensure a holistic peace in Sudan.
“We want to inform the Sudanese people that the peace has finally been achieved – people will have a freedom and they have to embark on development,” said Gatluak.
He said immediately after the celebration, the implementation matrix will be followed by the parties.
Gatluak said the Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army – North (SPLM/A – N) led by Abdul – Aziza Adam Al- Hilu and Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) led by Abdelahid Al – Nur will be engaged to continue the talks with Sudan government.
“We don’t want to leave anyone out of Sudan peace deal – we will hear up efforts to reach out to Abdelahid – we also remain with Al – Hulu, who is ready to resume talks with the Sudan government,” said chief mediator.
Gatluak further stressed that the Sudanese peace process overcame so many obstacles to see the light of day.
However, reaching a peace deal with armed groups has been a priority of military – civilians government in Sudan, which came to power after the April ouster of long – time leader Bashir, following months of mass protests.
The deal was looked at as a significant step in the transitional leadership’s goal of resolving multiple, deeply rooted civil conflicts.
The August peace deal was welcomed by the United States, the United Kingdom and Norway, and even UAE as a first step in rebuilding stability in the country.
About 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur since rebels took up arms there in 2003, according to the United Nations.
Conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile erupted in 2011, as South Sudan seceded from Sudan, following unresolved issues from bitter fighting there in Sudan’s 1983-2005 civil war.
Sudanese Prime Minister Dr Abdala Hamadok and the Chairperson of Sudan Sovereign Council Gen. Abdel Fatah Al-Burhan are due to arrive in Juba today