January 21, 2017 (EL-FASHER) - A splinter faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdel Wahid al-Nur (SLM-AW) signed on Saturday a peace agreement with the Sudanese government in El-Fasher, capital of North Darfur State, after three months of secret negotiations.
The ceremony was held in presence of the North Darfur deputy governor; members of the state government, and the leader of the dissident faction Sadiq Adam Abdel-Karim (aka Foka).
The Commissioner of Tawila locality, Adam Yagoub Gadid who negotiated the peace agreement with the splinter group told Sudan Tribune that the peace agreement was signed under the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur.
He further stressed the government seriousness to implement all the terms of the signed deal which include security, political and civil provisions.
According to Gadid, Foka has 1500 fighters under his command, a figure that Sudan Tribune was not able to verify. However, the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA) said the group has only 15 vehicles loaded with military hardware and ammunition.
Officials and rebels used to magnify or shrink the number of fighters or causalities depending on the circumstances. Also, they say every vehicle carries 10 fighters.
Speaking at the ceremony the group leader said their decision to join peace expresses "a definite and sincere desire to participate in the construction and development" of the country.
He added that the war brought only devastation and destruction, stressing the seriousness of his group to bring stability in the region.
Sudanese government troops carried out attacks on the SLM-AW fighters in Jebel Marra during the last year, accusing them of armed robbery and attacks on commercial convoys.
Last November, Central Darfur government signed a peace agreement with another splinter group from the SLM-AW led by Amin Toro. But the SLM-AW minimized the move, saying their number does not exceed 20 fighters.
The SLM-AW refuses to negotiate with the Sudanese government as they ask the government to implement unilaterally a number of measures including restoring security and financial compensations before to negotiate the root causes of the conflict.