23:54 GMT21 February 2020
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    The agreement between Khartoum's delegation, headed by General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), has been signed in Juba, South Sudan's capital.

    On Friday, Sudan's ruling council and the SPLM-N signed an initial deal on political and security arrangements, with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit overseeing the ceremony.

    The deal provides special status for the two Sudanese states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. According to deputy head of the SPLM-N Yasir Said Arman, the states will be allowed to adopt their own laws.

    He also said that the deal purports to resolve a long-standing dispute over land and to unify all parties involved in the conflict.

    "After this signing we are going to finalise the full agreement and the SPLM-North will be part of the new system in Khartoum", he added.

    On his part, Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo has stated that the Sudanese government is committed to the peace process.

    "The government of Sudan is more willing than before to reach a peaceful settlement in Sudan", Dagalo added.

    The conflict in Sudan's Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states dating back to 2011 has forced more than 200,000 people to flee their homes and settle in refugee camps in South Sudan and Ethiopia, according to UN estimates.

    In October 2019, Sudan's ruling council and rebel groups restarted peace negotiations to resolve the conflict.

    peace process, South Kordofan, Sudan
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