Sudan government has agreed to integrate a major rebel group into the army within 39 months.
On Monday August 17, 2020, Sudan and a major rebel group signed an agreement to integrate the rebels into the army in a bid to broker peace between the Sudanese government and the long-running insurgencies.
Peace talks between Sudan’s ruling council and rebel groups started in October, 2019 after nationwide protests forced autocrat Omar Al-Bashir to rescind power, which he had held onto for 30 years.
A transitional government has since taken over.
South Sudanese chief mediator, Tut Gatluak, said the conflict resolution agreement comprises the southern Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile states.
The government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) held talks late Monday in neighbouring South Sudan.
“The armed forces will remain intact, and with the joining of the SPLM-North, our national army will be more coherent, strong and ready to deal with any threats to homeland security,” Sudanese defence minister Major-General Yassin Ibrahim said.
Deputy head of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) described the security agreement as ‘historic’.
“We will participate in developing, reforming and building of strong and effective armed forces that reflect the diversity and have a new Sudan military doctrine that is far from politicization,” he said.
Sudanese government said their aim is to have a comprehensive peace settlement to resolve the country’s multiple civil conflicts.
But some rebel groups have held back from peace negotiations, including a major SPLM-N faction from the western region led by Abdelaziz Al-Hilu.
The peace accord stated that rebel fighters will initially remain in the Nuba Mountains and the Blue Nile under the command of the Sudanese army for 14 months before redeploying to other parts of the country for 13 months.
After completion of the 39-month transition period, all the rebel units will be dismantled.