By Atem Simon Mabior
Juba, Oct 3 (efe-epa).- The Sudanese government and a patchwork of armed groups under the flag of Sudan Revolutionary Front on Saturday signed a final peace deal in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, where a preliminary agreement was signed back on 31 August.
The signing ceremony, held at Juba’s Freedom square with the participation of Egypt, Chad, Qatar and the African Union, among others, was delayed for a few hours due to rain.
It began with a recital of verses from the Quran followed by Christian prayers to send a message of reconciliation to the Christian community, which was persecuted by the regime of ex-dictator Omar al-Bashir.
The signing took place under a marquee in the square, where the government delegation and representatives of the armed movements gathered.
Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (known as Hemedti), vice president of Sudan’s so-called sovereignty council, signed the deal as the government’s main representative.
The head of the sovereignty council Abdul-Fattah al-Burhan and Chad’s president Idriss Deby inked the deal as guarantors, while South Sudan president Salva Kiir signed as mediator.
The council has been running the country during the transitory period that began in July 2019 after the ousting of Bashir.
Abdullah Hamdok, Sudanese prime minister for transition period, said: “It is not a treaty to distribute power but a pact to exchange arms for development” in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile, region that have been severely hit by violence.
“The great challenge for this peace to be successful is to answer the question of the economy and the livelihood of the citizens,” he added.