Sunday, May 07, 2006

Darfur accord opens way toward peace

The peace agreement between Sudan and a main rebel faction is an important move toward stabilizing this troubled region.

The region has suffered from violence and resulting humanitarian problems since the conflict between the government and animist/Christian insurgents in the South. The Darfur crisis, which involves mainly Muslim combatants, fired up shortly after the former insurgency began to stabilize.

Sudan agreed to speed up the disarming of Janjaweed militias, who have terrorized ethnic minorities in Darfur, and to grant the region greater autonomy and economic resources.

While the main rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Movement and Army (SLMA) signed the agreement, another faction, the fundamentalist Justice and Equality Movement walked out of negotiations on Friday.

Another important element in stabilizing the region is for Sudan to reach an accord with its neighbor Chad. The two countries have accused each other of supporting insurgents based in the Darfur area.

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