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Africa
Parties sign Darfur truce deal
Sudanese government and Darfur's most powerful rebel group sign deal mediators hope will lead to permanent peace.
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2010 00:59 GMT

After seven years of war and months of negotiations, the Sudanese government and Darfur's most powerful rebel group have signed a ceasefire deal, and mediators hope it will lead to a broader and more permanent peace agreement.

Qatar, the sponsor of the peace talks, has pledged $1bn to help rebuild the region.

However, the truce is only between Khartoum and the Justice and Equality Movement (Jem). There are dozens more factions, now coalesced into two groups, who have yet to strike any deal with the government.

The United Nations estimates around 300,000 people have died from the combined effects of war, famine and disease in Darfur.

Almost three million more have fled their homes and are living in displacement camps.

An estimated 200,000 have sought safety in neighbouring Chad, but violence in Darfur has followed them, spilling over the border.  

The truce is being attributed to the recent reconciliation between Sudan and Chad, where last month, both sides agreed to stop supporting each other's rebel groups.

Al Jazeera's Zeina Awad reports from Doha where the ceasefire deal was signed.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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