Sudan’s transitional authorities and a rebel alliance signed a peace deal on Saturday that aims to put an end to the country’s decades-long civil wars.
“The next biggest challenge is to work with all local and international partners to preach the agreement and its benefits,” said Prime minister Abdalla Hamdok in a tweet on Friday upon his arrival in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
Reaching a negotiated settlement with rebels in Sudan’s far-flung provinces had been a crucial goal for the transitional government, which assumed power after a popular uprising led the military to overthrow President Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.
The civilian leaders hope the deal will allow them to revive the country’s battered economy by slashing military spending, which takes up much of the national budget.
The official signing on Saturday sealed the deal reached in late August between the Sudanese government and the Sudan Revolutionary Front, a coalition of several armed groups.
The summit was attended by South Sudan President Salva Kiir, whose own country gained independence from Sudan in 2011 following decades of civil war. The head of Sudan’s sovereign council, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan and his deputy Gen. Mohammed Hamadan Dagalo, also attended the ceremony. Dagalo, the commander of paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, signed the agreement along with rebel leaders.