Sudanese peace at last ?

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Hopes of a peace deal in Darfur is soaring as reports claim that Sudan’s most fearsome rebel group have reached a reliable deal in Qatar which includes an end to the attacks on more than two million people in refugee camps and an exchange of prisoners.

The final pact will be made in Sudan’s capital city of Khartoum today, Tuesday, Februray 17, 2009. The rebel group who call themselves the Justice and Equality Movement will sign their proposed declaration of good intentions.

Observers, however, have seen this development, as a distraction of the proposed indictment from the International Criminal Court of Sudan’s President, Omar al-Bashir, for alleged crimes against humanity.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, has in response rejected any suggestion that Sudan was trying to deflect attention away from the proposed ICC indictment of President Omar al-Bashir. “There has been great progress,” Sheikh Hamad said.

According to Hamad, the timing of this deal shows that Khartoum is headed towards peace. He also condemned the intense pressure from the international community, “the most important point is to stop the harassment of our people in the Internally Displaced People’s camps in addition to [urging] the government not to impede the humanitarian aid to our people,” he said.

The United Nations has reported that at least 300,000 people have died and more than 2.2 million displaced since fighting broke out six years ago, after Black African groups complaining of discrimination at the hands of Sudan’s Arab-dominated government launched a rebellion.

However, the Janjaweed, which has been accused of trying to “cleanse” black Africans from large swathes of Sudanese territory, and other rebel groups are refusing to talk to the government, prompting experts say that much more needs to be done to achieve peace in the region.

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