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Sudan signs deal with rebel faction for future peace talks

Khartoum has made it a priority to establish peace with the SPLM-N rebel faction and settle internal conflicts
Sudan's head of state, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, signed the "declaration of principles" with Abdelaziz al-Hilu, head of Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) (AFP)

Sudan signed a deal on Sunday with a rebel faction to help guide future peace negotiations as the transitional government struggles to end the country's internal conflicts. 

Sudan's head of state, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, signed the "declaration of principles" with Abdelaziz al-Hilu, head of Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N). 

The principles include the unification of the armed forces and establishing a democratic, secular state with freedom of religion.

"The next thing is the two parties will resume talks three weeks from now," mediation team official Ramadan Goch told AFP.

"They are now going to organise their teams and prepare to resume the peace talks."

The signing of the deal to guide future peace talks comes after the World Bank said it would give Sudan $2bn in grants from the bank's International Development Association (IDA). 

Khartoum said $63m would be available for budget support and welfare support. 

Sudan's transitional government, which consists of civilians and soldiers, has made creating peace with the country's rebel groups a top priority. 

In October, a historic agreement was signed with the Sudan Revolutionary Front, an alliance of rebel groups from the Darfur, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan regions.

A branch of the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdelwahid Nour in Darfur refused to sign.