Darfur’s largest opposition group, the JEM, has signed a temporary peace agreement with the government of Sudan in hopes of creating a framework for peace and a new Sudan. “Representatives of the group and the government signed the ‘framework agreement’ setting out the terms for future peace talks in Ndjamena, Chad’s capital, on Saturday. ‘Today we signed an agreement between the government and Jem in Ndjamena and in Ndjamena we heal the war in Darfur,’ Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Sudan’s president, said in a speech on state television. Ahmed Hussein, a Jem spokesman, told the AFP news agency that the group would order its forces to stop military operations following the deal. ‘We have just initially signed the framework agreement,’ he said. ‘We will discuss of many issues – return of the IDPs [internally displaced persons], power and wealth sharing, compensation, detainees. ‘We are committed to a peaceful solution for Darfur.’ A broader agreement on security arrangements and refugees is expected to be discussed in the coming days in Qatar, which has been mediatating the talks. The United Nations says that at least 300,000 people have died through violence, disease and displacement during the seven-year conflict in Sudan’s western Darfur region.”
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