Though Jem is to be part of the new government, the SLM/A refuses to take part in any agreement Photo: AFP
News comes today from the Darfur region that Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, will sign a framework agreement which includes an outline deal on power sharing "at all levels" with the rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (Jem).
This step is seen internationally as a vital one towards peace, though Sudan's other main rebel group, the Sudanese Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) refused to enter talks.
There have been reports that Jem is highly unlikely to sign any final peace agreement ahead of national elections.
"After the agreement is signed, the rest will come through more negotiations," Adrees Mahmoud, a Europe-based representative of the group said, according to Reuters.
He added that it was too early to say if the target of a final binding agreement by March, one of the clauses of the ceasefire deal, would be met by Jem.
President Bashir is scheduled to sign the accord in Qatar, where it was negotiated over with officials from neighboring Chad. The Sudanese government asserts that Chad has backed and armed Jem.
The BBC reports that early looks at the accord show that Jem will constitute a political party after the final signing. The accord texts also stipulate that changes in the administration of the Darfur region will form part of the final accord and that death sentences imposed on 100 Jem fighters will be canceled.
While many in Sudan and undoubtedly much of the world will celebrate the signing of the accord, if it does take place, all is not clear in Sudan. The SLM/A is still resolute in its opposition of the Sudanese government and thus some violence will indeed continue. There are also still some 2.5 million people displaced by the fighting, that need to be able to return to their homes.
If the peace accord does indeed take effect, it will be one of the biggest steps yet to take place towards peace in the Darfur region. With Jem at the table with the Sudanese government perhaps SLM/A will in the future be brought into the fold of peace, and thus allow the people of the Darfur region the peace that these plagued people deserve and need.