The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has commended the peace accord signed between Sudanese authorities and key armed movements from the restive Darfur region.
Guterres, through a statement released by his Spokesman at UN Headquarters in New York, said the deal is a historic achievement and could provide a path to national unity.
Sudan’s transitional Government inked the deal alongside the Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF) and Sudan Liberation Movement–Minni Minnawi (SLM/MM), at a ceremony held in neighboring South Sudan on Monday.
“The Secretary-General congratulates the people of the Sudan for this historic achievement and commends the parties to the negotiations for their political will and determination in working toward the common objective of peace,” said the statement.
The UN Chief also commended South Sudan for mediating the negotiations between the warring parties.
“He thanks the Government of South Sudan and President Salva Kiir for their important role in facilitating the talks. The Secretary-General calls on the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement–North–Abdelaziz Al-Hilu and the Sudan Liberation Movement–Abdul Wahid Al-Nur to join the peace process,” added the statement.
Mr. Guterres said he was fully committed to supporting the implementation of the agreement, which he believes marks the start of a new era for the people of the Sudan mainly those in Darfur and similarly affected areas.
“This will require sustained commitment and collaboration between the parties and the people of the Sudan,” he said.
Jeremiah Mamabolo, the UNAMID Joint Special Representative who attended the ceremony, said the deal was a “significant step” and commended in particular the signatory parties for their “determination, courage and commitment to lasting peace in Sudan”.
The agreement is expected to end 17 years of brutal conflict in Darfur in Darfur.
Fighting between the forces of former President Omar al-Bashir, backed by allied militia, and various rebel movements, left around 300,000 dead, according to UN estimates, and millions displaced.
“We hope that this agreement is perceived as the start of a process that includes all in a positive move towards peace, justice and national unity. This includes the full realization of the hopes, dreams and aspirations of all the people of Sudan, including Darfuris”, said Mr. Mamabolo.