The Sudanese government signed a peace agreement on Monday with the largest rebel groups from the south of the country. According to the parties, this will hopefully end ongoing conflicts in the African country.
The Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF), an alliance of several rebel groups from the southern region of Darfur and the states of Janub-Kordofan and Blue Nile, signed the agreement in the South Sudanese capital, Djuba.
The most important point of the agreement is the dismantling of the various rebel groups and the integration of their fighters into the national Sudanese army. Agreements have also been made about safety, power distribution and land distribution.
The agreement is a boost for the transitional government of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who had hoped to ratify an agreement last year. The conclusion of the agreement was one of Hamdok's spearheads.
Two rebel factions abstained from signing the agreement: the Sudanese Liberation Movement and the People's Liberation Movement (SPLM-N).
Hundreds of thousands are killed in conflict
Armed conflicts have been going on in southern Sudan for years. In the Darfur region alone, more than 300,000 people have been killed in fighting since 2003, according to the United Nations (UN). According to the UN, this involved large-scale ethnic cleansing.
Fighting broke out again in Janub-Kordofan and Blue Nile in 2011, after an earlier bloody civil war that lasted from 1983 to 2005. This eventually led to a secession within Sudan, which resulted in the founding of the nation of South Sudan. However, Janub-Kordofan and Blue Nile continued to be part of Sudan.
Earlier peace agreements between the government and rebel groups in Nigeria (2006) and Qatar (2010) were broken.