Sudan signs deal with second Darfur rebel group

Sudan signed a three-month ceasefire deal with a second Darfur rebel group on Thursday, a diplomatic source close to the negotiations said, part of a government push to end the conflict in the western Sudanese region before elections.

“Two agreements were signed. There was a temporary ceasefire agreement that will get renewed as the talks progress. There was also a framework agreement that lists all the topics for future negotiations,” the source said.

Representatives from the government and Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), an umbrella group of small splinter factions, signed the deal in the Qatari capital Doha, weeks after Khartoum signed a similar accord with Darfur’s powerful insurgent Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

JEM dismissed Thursday’s deal, saying the LJM had no military force on the ground, but senior JEM official Al-Tahir al-Feki told Reuters his movement would not immediately act on its threat to walk out of Doha talks in protest at the deal.

“The ceasefire is meaningless. It is a ceasefire without any fire,” he said, speaking just before the signing. “We will not leave Doha. We cannot respond now in a reflex reaction. We will see how it [the new accord] goes.”

Al-Feki said JEM would support the new deal if the factions under the LJM agreed to join its forces and negotiate with Khartoum as one organisation. — Reuters

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