25th October 2020
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Juba deal signals ‘new era of peace’ says Guterres

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Sunday, October 4, 2020

Leaders of Sudan's transitional government and rebel movements signed a peace deal in Juba on October 3rd, 2020.Nelson/Eye Radio

The  United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has said the Juba peace agreement signed by the Sudanese transitional government and armed movements presents a new era of peace for Sudan.

“The signing of the Juba peace agreement signals the dawn of a new era for the people of Sudan,” Guterres said in a video message during the signing ceremony on Saturday.

“It is a milestone on the road to achieving sustainable peace and inclusive development.”

The agreement comes after over a year of negotiations hosted by South Sudan President Salva Kiir.

The UN chief also commended the role played by South Sudan to mediate the peace process despite enormous challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the peace deal has a special meaning for the people of Darfur who have been displaced by the conflict which started in 2003.

However, two groups — the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-north led by Abdulaziz al-Hilu and the Sudan Liberation Army of Abdul Wahi al-Nur did not sign the deal.

The UN called on the two groups to join the peace process.

“Now it is critical that this agreement translates into tangible improvement in people’s lives. As we look ahead, we know that achieving an inclusive comprehensive and countrywide peace requires having all parties at the table,” Guterres said.

“I call on the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement north-on Abdulaziz al-Hilu to fully engage in negotiations, embracing the opportunity presented by the recent signing of principles alongside Prime Minister Hamdok in Addis Ababa. I also call on the Sudan Liberation Army of Abdul Wahi al-Nur to immediately join the peace process,” he added.

Mr. Guterres further noted that ensuring successful implementation of the deal will require “sustained commitment and collaboration of all parties”.

Rebels in Sudan’s western region of Darfur rose up in 2003 against the government of former president Omar al-Bashir.

According to observers, an estimated 200,000 people have been killed and over 2 million driven from their homes in the region.

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