Sudanese parties sign peace pledge

Friday, November 19, 2004

A map of Sudan with the Darfur region accentuated

NAIROBI — Representatives of both the Sudanese government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) signed a peace pledge today in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, under the watchful eye of United Nations ambassadors.

According to the BBC, the document concluded with a memorandum saying that "prompt completion of the peace process is essential for all the people of Sudan". The actual peace treaty should, according to the pledge, be signed no later than December 31st 2004. While the pledge focuses mainly on the fights between the rebels in the south and the Khartoum-based government in the north, there is also attention for the ongoing crisis in east Sudan (Darfur).

Several aid agencies have criticized the UN for taking a weak stand against the Sudanese government. The Security Council has already signed two resolutions threatening economic sanctions against Sudan if the government does not disarm its troops in Darfur, but, so the BBC reports, the violence is continuing. The civil war in Darfur was sparked in 2003, when insurgents started attacking government buildings. The Arab government in Khartoum subsequently sent troops to the region, which have been reported to mass-violate human rights of the black Africans living in Darfur.