The chairman of Sudan's Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan signed a declaration of principles on Sunday with the leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), Abdelaziz Al-Hilu. The move signals the start of peace negotiations between the two parties, Anadolu has reported.
The signing ceremony took place in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, in the presence of President Salva Kiir Mayardit, sponsor of the negotiations. It is not known how long Al-Burhan and Al-Hilu will be in South Sudan.
The declaration, of which Anadolu Agency received a copy, stipulated, "The establishment of a civilian, democratic and federal state in Sudan that guarantees freedom of religion, religious practices, and worship for all the people… The state shall not impose religious beliefs on anyone and shall stay impartial on religious affairs and matters of belief and conscience. The state also guarantees and protects freedom of religion and religious practices, provided that these principles are guaranteed in the constitution."
Furthermore, the agreement said that Sudan should have a professional national army, operating under a new unified military doctrine, and committed to protecting national security in accordance with the Constitution. "This is provided that the security institutions reflect Sudanese diversity and plurality and that their loyalty is to the homeland and not to any party or group."
The two parties also agreed on transitional arrangements. These include the time span, tasks, mechanisms, budgets, and so on, in addition to establishing a permanent ceasefire upon the signing of the security arrangements within the framework of the comprehensive settlement of the conflict in Sudan.