Sudanese governrment and rebel groups agree to end war

Anna Badkhen, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, May 5, 2006

 The Sudanese government and a major rebel group signed a peace deal today to end three years of war in Darfur, which has killed at least 180,000 civilians and displaced more than 2 million in western Sudan.

Under the agreement, Khartoum agreed to demands from the Sudanese Liberation Army’s demands for power-sharing, disarming the government’s proxy militia — the notorious Janjaweed — integrating rebels into the national security force, and compensating war victims.

"The deal is peace," said government spokesman Abdulrahman Zuma before the 85-page accord was signed. "I think that the victory today is for Sudan."

However, two other rebel groups have refused to accept the agreement, and analysts warned that peace may still be far off in settling what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and the United States has labeled genocide.

"One shouldn’t get overly optimistic that (the end of genocide) is the result," Roberta Cohen, an expert on Sudan and humanitarian issues at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think-tank told The Chronicle. "It doesn’t necessarily mean (the two sides) would adhere to their word."

Earlier, a negotiator with one of the rebel groups that refused to sign criticized the draft accord.

"This deal cannot produce logical results that lead to solving the Darfur issue," Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) negotiator Ahmed Tugod told the Arab satellite TV station Al-Arabiya. We are against partial solutions."

But Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, who played a key role in the talks,