The Sudanese government and several rebel movements signed a peace agreement on Monday in Juba, the capital of neighboring South Sudan. The agreement must end seventeen years of war.
The accords were signed in two installments. First, it was up to the Darfur rebel movements, where the war, which started in 2003, claimed at least 300,000 fatalities in its early years, according to the United Nations. It also drove 2.5 million residents to flee. Then it was up to the rebel movement of South Kordofan and the Blue Nile, where the war-ravaged a million inhabitants.
On behalf of the Sudanese government, the Vice-President of the Sovereign Council signed the agreement, the transitional council that governs the country. The Vice-President, Mohamed Hamdan Dogolo, has nevertheless been accused of “atrocities” in Darfur during the civil war.
But more symbolically, yesterday’s enemies Dogolo and the rebel leaders, who united in the Sudanese Revolutionary Front, are shaking hands. They even put some dance steps together.
South Sudanese head of state Salva Kiir also signed the agreement but as a witness. He sat on the podium before the “Conciliation Committee for the Peace Negotiations,” as a banner pointed out.
At his side were General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, who heads the Sovereign Council, and Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.