Sudanese rebels to ink final peace deal

Sudan’s government and rebel forces are expected to sign a final peace deal today in Juba, the capital of neighbouring

Sudan peace mahmoud hjaj

Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj

Sudan’s government and rebel forces are expected to sign a final peace deal today in Juba, the capital of neighbouring South Sudan.

After years of conflict and months of negotiations, the long-awaited agreement between Khartoum and a coalition of armed groups called the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) is intended to transition Sudan to civilian rule, which the country has not seen since the ouster of former president Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. Sudan has faced almost continuous fighting since the start of the country’s 1983-2005 civil war.

The agreement both parties are expected to sign today looks promising at face value and covers a wide range of key issues. However, a number of factors pose substantial risks to its successful implementation. Sudan’s economy has suffered greatly from the conflict as well as a significant drop in international assistance, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, a long history of failed peace agreements and potential SRF spoilers, namely two major rebel groups refusing to sign the Juba accord, will threaten the survival of the deal.

Therefore, while the amity generated by today’s agreement could lead to a cessation of major hostilities in Sudan in the short- to medium-term, the probability of a return to conflict in the long-term remains high.

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