Sudan protest leaders, rebels end rift over power deal

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Sudanese protest leaders and their rebel partners have ended their differences over a power-sharing deal signed with the country’s military rulers, vowing to work jointly for peace, a leading protest group said on Thursday.

On July 17, the umbrella protest movement signed a power-sharing accord with Sudan’s ruling generals that provides for a transitional civilian administration, the key demand of demonstrators.

But three armed groups who are members of the protest movement had objected to the deal, saying it failed to address peace in the war zones of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

A group of protest leaders then flew to Addis Ababa for talks with the rebels, and after days of intense negotiations they reached an agreement that was announced on Thursday.

“This agreement has discussed the fundamental roots of war ... and aims to reach a comprehensive peace accord with all armed groups,” the Sudanese Professionals Association said on its Facebook page.

“The agreement paves the way for establishing comprehensive peace urgently once the transitional process for a civilian government begins.”

The SPA said the “Addis Ababa Declaration” aims to “speed up the forming of the transitional civilian government”.

It said the three armed groups in the Sudan Revolutionary Front have “reconciled with the Alliance for Freedom and Change on the transitional government and connected peace-related issues with the process of transition”.

The rebel groups also confirmed the differences they had with the protest leaders had ended.

“I think with this agreement we will be united, we will be stronger,” rebel delegate Nuraddayim Taha told AFP in Addis Ababa.

The rebel groups had been fighting government forces of now ousted president Omar al-Bashir for years in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

The protest leaders and generals are still to sign what is called the “Constitutional Declaration” to thrash out some outstanding issues.

The rebel groups had demanded that this accord specify that peace negotiations would be a top priority for the new government.

Once a peace deal is finalized, sources said the rebel groups want their representatives to be part of the transitional government.

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