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BREAKING: Sudan’s Defence Minister, Lt Gen Omar, Dies in Juba

Sudan’s Defence Minister, Lt Gen Jamaleldin Omar, has died of a heart attack in South Sudan, where he was participating in peace negotiations with rebels in the capital Juba.

This was revealed by Sudan’s defence minister in a brief statement to the media.

Omar arrived in Juba late last week to take part in final security arrangements for Darfur and the Two Areas (South Kordofan and Blue Nile state).

“We are here today to develop new security arrangements in the interest of peace and democratic transformation in Sudan,” Gen Omar was quoted by Sudanese media as telling reporters upon his arrival.

Omar is said to have worked closely with the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebel alliance to lay down its weapons.

The peace process is expected to be concluded by April 9.

Khartoum, working closely with Juba, has been holding peace talks with most Sudanese armed movements since the ousting of President Omar Al-Bashir.

The final detailed agreement on a permanent ceasefire includes the integration of rebel fighters in the Sudanese army or other institutions and disarmament; demobilization, and reintegration of militiamen.

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This includes detailed implementation mechanisms and time schedules.

The peace process is expected to be concluded by April 9.

Gen Omar’s death will be seen as a big blow to this process which seeks to end decades of insurgency in Sudan.

The deceased was a member of the ruling Sovereign Council.

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