Darfur group JEM in Ndjamena, Chad signs temporary truce with Sudanese government
"Today we signed an agreement between the government and JEM in Ndjamena and in Ndjamena we heal the war in Darfur" - Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Sudan's president, said in a speech on state television today, Saturday, 20 February 2010.Source: (AGENCIES) Aljazeera.net
"We have just initially signed the framework agreement ... We will discuss of many issues - return of the IDPs [internally displaced persons], power and wealth sharing, compensation, detainees ... We are committed to a peaceful solution for Darfur" - Ahmed Hussein, a JEM spokesman, told the AFP news agency that the group would order its forces to stop military operations following the deal today, Saturday, 20 February 2010.
Darfur group signs temporary truce
Saturday, 20 February 2010; 20:04 MECCA TIME, 17:04 GMT.
Here is a copy of the report, in full, and a summary of related news reports.
Photo: The Justice and Equality Movement has been fighting the Sudanese government for seven years [File: EPA]
The Justice and Equality Movement (Jem), Darfur's largest opposition group, has signed a temporary ceasefire deal with Sudan's government.
Representatives of the group and the government signed the "framework agreement" setting out the terms for future peace talks in Ndjamena, Chad's capital, on Saturday.
"Today we signed an agreement between the government and Jem in Ndjamena and in Ndjamena we heal the war in Darfur," Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Sudan's president, said in a speech on state television.
Ahmed Hussein, a Jem spokesman, told the AFP news agency that the group would order its forces to stop military operations following the deal.
"We have just initially signed the framework agreement," he said.
"We will discuss of many issues - return of the IDPs [internally displaced persons], power and wealth sharing, compensation, detainees.
"We are committed to a peaceful solution for Darfur."
A broader agreement on security arrangements and refugees is expected to be discussed in the coming days in Qatar, which has been mediatating the talks.
The United Nations says that at least 300,000 people have died through violence, disease and displacement during the seven-year conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region.
But officials in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, dispute the figures, saying that only 10,000 people have died since ethnic minority fighters rose up against the Arab-dominated government and its allies.
Al-Bashir, who faces an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court on allegations of war crimes in Darfur, said death sentences against 100 Jem fighters had been quashed after the agreement's signing.
"I cancel all the sentences of hanging pronounced against members of the Justice and Equality Movement," he told an audience of members of women's associations.
"And tomorrow we will release 30 per cent of the prisoners."
A Sudanese court condemned 105 members of Jem to death after the group launched an assault in May 2008 that reached Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman, just across the Nile from the presidential palace.
Khartoum has agreed a series of ceasefires with the rebels, but some have fallen apart days after their signing and distrust between the warring parties remains deep.
Darfur's other main rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) is refusing to talk to the government, demanding an end to all violence before negotiations begin.
Photo: Sat Feb 20, 11:15 AM ET: Fighters with Darfur's most heavily armed rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), pictured in an armoured jeep on the Sudan-Chad border in northwest Darfur, October 2007. The group said on Saturday that it had signed a framework agreement with the Sudanese government in Chad that provides for a ceasefire. (AFP/AMIS/File/StuartPrice)
Sudan signs deal with Darfur JEM rebels
The Financial Times - Sat, 20 Feb 2010; 18:02
Sudan signs ceasefire with Darfur JEM rebels
Reuters - Andrew Heavens (KHARTOUM) - Sat 20 Feb 2010; 2:49pm EST
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(UKPA) – Sat, 20 Feb 2010; 19:36 GMT
Darfur rebels sign truce deal with Sudan
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Labels: Darfur peace talks