Home | News    Thursday 25 September 2003

Sudan government and rebels sign key security deal

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

By Wangui Kanina

NAIVASHA, Kenya, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Sudan’s government and main rebel group signed a key security deal on Thursday, clearing a major stumbling block in peace talks aimed at ending a 20-year-old conflict that has killed some two million people.

"This is a historic occasion. It has paved the way for a peace process and stability in Sudan," Sudan’s First Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha told reporters.

"We have got miles to cover ahead. What has happened gives us the drive to negotiate on other issues."

Witnesses said delegates clapped as representatives from the government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) signed the deal near Lake Naivasha, some 90 km (55 miles) from Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

Security has been the biggest sticking point in three weeks of talks to resolve Africa’s longest war between Taha and John Garang, head of the SPLA.

However differences remain on a host of other issues, ranging from the status of the capital Khartoum to how to share power and wealth from the south’s lucrative oilfields.

"There is no doubt that the issue of security has been a difficult one," said chief mediator Lazaro Sumbeiywo.

"However the courageous decision on the status of the two armed forces, ceasefire, redeployment...is a clear demonstration that the Sudanese have jointly decided to cross the bridge of peace together," he added.

Peace has eluded Sudan despite years of efforts to end the civil war, which broke out in 1983, pitting the Islamist government in the north against rebels seeking greater autonomy in the mainly animist and Christian south.

In a notable breakthrough last year, the two sides agreed to give southerners the right to a referendum on secession after a six-year transition.

SECURITY DEAL

The security deal provides for two separate armies with the creation of integrated units comprising government and SPLA troops during the interim period.

A copy of the deal obtained by Reuters shows that an integrated force of 24,000 troops would be deployed in the south. Another unit of 3,000 troops would be sent to Khartoum.

Two integrated units of 6,000 troops each would be sent to the disputed Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile, which along with Abyei, are regions claimed by both sides.

The government would have up to two and a half years to pull its troops out of southern Sudan, while the SPLA agreed to withdraw from eastern Sudan within a year of the interim period.

Both sides also agreed to an internationally monitored ceasefire that would come into effect once a final peace deal is signed.

"We have responded to the wish of the Sudanese people for a fair and just political settlement that is durable and this agreement is a basis for such a fair and just settlement," Garang said.

SPLA officials said both delegations planned to adjourn talks on Saturday but they had not yet decided when negotiations would resume.

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Have the G-10 Broken up into G-6 and G-4? 2015-07-03 04:20:44 By David Lony Majak The so called G10 is now almost reducing to G-4; I know some genuine questions will be asked by mindfully readers, why G10 reduced to G4. The defection of Pagan Amum has (...)

ISIS- Daesh entering Sudan without a deterrent 2015-07-01 02:57:26 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman This article comes against the background of the Extremism, which has become epidemic growing and spreading like a cancer from the Levant region to the Middle Eastern (...)

IGAD, war, power sharing, and peace in South Sudan 2015-06-30 05:30:25 By B. Yongo Bure The latest IGAD peace proposal cannot bring long lasting peace to South Sudan. But we should not blame IGAD but ourselves. Where is our own “good” South Sudanese peace proposal? (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Sudanese, human rights groups and advocates demand renewal of UNAMID 2015-06-25 06:03:32 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: New York: Ahmed H.Adam, Tel. +1 347 567 1491 or aha64@cornell.edu Kampala: Abdelrahman Gasim, Tel. +256 7 51 90 77 77 or gasim202000@gmail.com Geneva: Abdelbagi (...)

Civil society groups urge to stop hostilities in W. Bahr El Ghazal 2015-06-11 22:24:37 Urgent action for sustainable peace in Western Bahr El Ghazal State Civil Society Statement: June 10, 2015 Wau –Western Bahr El Ghazal State- The Republic of South Sudan We, civil society (...)

Two South Sudanese pastors face death penalty in Khartoum 2015-06-03 06:08:37 African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies Two South Sudanese Pastors face death penalty for voicing opposition to corruption scandal at Khartoum Bahri Church (2 June 2015) Two South Sudanese (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2015 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.