The United States has welcomed Thursday’s signing of a peace accord between Sudan and a small Darfur rebel group, despite scepticism by many analysts and diplomats.
The deal, which was agreed in Qatar, promises greater autonomy for Darfur-based groups from the Khartoum government.
Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir was publicly hopeful that the signing could bring about peace. “We confirm our full commitment to this signature and its implementation as a base for a new era in Darfur,” he said.
Many larger rebel groups stayed away from the negotiations, hoping to reach a better deal in the future.
Observers think that the signing, without the inclusion of key groups, could provoke angry reactions.
The Darfur conflict, which started in 1993, became one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.
As many as 300,000 people have died and two million others have been displaced.