Negotiating an end to the rebellions in Sudan’s far-flung provinces has been a crucial goal for the transitional government.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, centre right, and The Sudan Liberation Movement-North leader, Abdelaziz al Hilu, hold up hands during a visit organised by WFP in the town of Kauda, Sudan, January 9, 2020.
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, centre right, and The Sudan Liberation Movement-North leader, Abdelaziz al Hilu, hold up hands during a visit organised by WFP in the town of Kauda, Sudan, January 9, 2020. (AP)

Sudan's power-sharing government and a major rebel group active in southern borderlands have agreed to hold new peace talks hosted by South Sudan.

The announcement by both sides came on Friday, days after Khartoum signalled a peace deal with other groups.

The Khartoum government agreed the move with the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North led by Abdelaziz al Hilu, one of the groups that did not join a deal signed on Monday to end wars stemming from the rule of ousted strongman Omar al Bashir.

READ MORE: Sudan inks peace deal with key rebel groups to end wars

Workshops for different issues

Hilu's group has now agreed with the Khartoum government on the necessity to reach a complete political solution in Sudan and address the root causes of its conflicts, the office of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said on its website.

It said both sides had agreed to set up workshops for different issues but gave no timeframe or details.

Hilu's group, one of the biggest rebel forces that control territory in southern borderlands, confirmed the deal.

"We will continue negotiation under Juba mediation. So far, there's no agreed date for the talks," Aman Amum, the group's chief negotiator, told Reuters.

He sent Reuters a picture showing Hamdok and Hilu signing a document in English in Ethiopia on Thursday in which both sides pledged to achieve a democracy and "separation of religion and state", a major break from Bashir's repressive religious regime.

There was no immediate comment from South Sudan, which hosted the talks that led to Monday's deal.

'Positive step'

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed Thursday's signing, calling the agreement “a positive step,” especially in light of the initialing of a peace agreement earlier this week, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The UN chief urged another rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Movement-Abdul Wahid Al Nur, “to join the peace process so that a comprehensive solution can be found” and reiterated his commitment to support all efforts to achieve sustainable peace in Sudan, Dujarric said.

Hilu's group operates in a region inhabited by minority Christians and followers of African beliefs, who complain of long discrimination under Bashir, who was ousted last year, and seek a secular democratic state for the Muslim-majority country.

Conflict in Sudan

Sudan has been riven by conflicts for decades. After the oil-rich south seceded in 2011, an economic crisis fuelled protests which led to Bashir's overthrow.

Three major groups signed Monday's deal, including factions from Darfur where more than 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed and 2.5 million displaced since 2003.

READ MORE: Sudan says ready to cooperate with ICC over Darfur war crimes

Sudan's civilian and military leaders, who have shared power since then, say ending conflicts is a top priority to help bring democracy and peace to a country in crisis.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies