Sudan ratifies treaty with southern rebels

/ Source: The Associated Press

With cries of “God is Great,” members of Sudan’s parliament on Tuesday unanimously ratified the government’s peace agreement with the southern rebels, formally sealing the end to Africa’s longest civil war.

When the speaker called the “yes” vote, all the legislators in the chamber stood up to show their approval. Lawmakers clapped and some shouted “Allahu Akbar,” the Islamic rallying cry meaning “God is Great.”

The agreement signed in Nairobi, Kenya, on Jan. 9 provides for the creation of a transitional government in which the former rebels, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, will have several positions in the Cabinet.

The agreement also provides for Sudan’s southern provinces to vote in a referendum on self-determination at the end of the six-year transitional period.

The general assembly of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the political wing of the former rebel army, endorsed the agreement at a meeting held in southern Sudan last month.

The civil war broke out in 1983.