The first rebels have been freed in Darfur, following Wednesday’s declaration that war is over. Sudanese president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir made this announcement in Doha, and said members of the rebel group JEM would be released. Their supporters held a rally outside Khartoum’s Kober prison.
One woman there was hopeful about the deal: “We hope that President Bashir will be committed to the words he said and implement the deal quickly. We also urge other Darfur rebel factions to join the peace settlement and create stability in Darfur. We have suffered too much.”
The president has freed 57 JEM rebels. They are the only rebel group to have signed to the peace deal.
The agreement between the government and JEM, signed in Doha, gives a deadline for final peace on March 15. Other Darfur rebel groups have rejected the deal. This new peace comes almost a year after the last ceasefire agreement, which broke down within a day. However, there is hope on both sides that this move will create a lasting peace.
According to UN estimates, 30,000 people have died since the war in Darfur started in 2003.