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Sudan, Darfur rebel splinter faction sign peace agreement

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July 15, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan and a splinter rebel faction from Darfur have signed on Sunday a peace agreement in the Egyptian capital, the official SUNA reported today.

The Sudanese government and a breakaway faction from the Justice and Equality Movement, (JEM) led by Ibrahim Yahia Abdelrahaman, signed an agreement in Cairo according to which leadership of the former rebel faction would return to the Sudan and engage in dialogue for resolution of issues of difference.

Sudan has inked this deal with a small rebel faction while International mediators in the Darfur crisis, who met in Libya, discussed ways to bring all the Darfur rebel groups to negotiate with Khartoum to end the four year conflict.

The agreement also includes the return of refugees and IDPs to their villages and action for prevalence of security in Darfur.

Ibrahim Yahia, who is from the Massalite ethnic group, is the former governor of West Darfur state. He joined the JEM in 2004.

Mutrif Sideq, the first Undersecretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has signed on behalf of the government. He said the agreement stipulates remedy of the private and public condition of the returnees. He said the agreement also deals with the security matters and in some areas in Darfur and lay the foundation for the development of a number of areas in Darfur.

More than 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been displaced in the Darfur region of western Sudan since 2003, when ethnic African rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated Sudanese government, accusing it of decades of neglect.

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