Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir announces ceasefire in Darfur

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Flag of Sudan

Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashirn Wednesday announced an immediate ceasefire in the country’s western Darfur region, where five years of fighting between government and rebel forces have left 300,000 dead and forced over 2.5 million others out of their homes, according to the Sudanese news agency. The ceasefire followed a month-long meeting between the government and some tribal leaders from Darfur. It was not immediately known how the main rebel groups will react to the ceasefire announcement, but analysts said previous ceasefires have failed to hold. They said the President might have been forced to seek a way to end the fighting because of his indictment for war crimes by the International Criminal Court earlier this year. Fighting over scarce natural resources in Darfur broke out in 2003, pitching the rebels against government forces backed by the Janjaweed militia, blamed for all sorts of atrocities, including rape, in the region.

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