The new governor of Darfur, Minni Arko Minnawi, announced the reopening of the Sudanese territory's borders with Libya for trade, in his first decision under his newly created post based on the Juba peace agreement.
Minnawi said that his inauguration will begin the implementation of security arrangements in accordance with the texts of the Juba peace agreement, and the opening of border trade with neighboring countries from Libya, Chad, Central Africa and South Sudan.
Sudanese media reported Wednesday that the inauguration ceremony for the governor of Darfur was held in the presence of Sovereignty Council of Sudan Chairman Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and other officials.
At his inauguration ceremony, Minnawi stated that his government's priorities were to implement the security arrangements clause, ensure security and immediately initiate reconciliation between social components. Security arrangements would begin with a joint force to protect civilians and then integrate into the regular forces, Minnawi added.
Sudan's transitional government has on several occasions closed the country's border with Libya, citing security and economic risks, and has repeatedly complained about arms smuggling across its borders. Since 2003, the Darfur region has occasionally witnessed tribal violence, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, as conflict continues over resources.
On January 13, a report by UN experts to the UN Security Council confirmed the involvement of the armed Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) forces led by Minnawi in supporting the authorities in eastern Libya. The report spoke of the intention of the Darfur peace agreement signatory movements to leave half of their forces in Libya, but in February Minnawi said that "all SLM forces are now in the country".
This comes at a time when the new ICC prosecutor Karim Asad Khan began meetings in Khartoum on Monday to discuss cooperation with officials on the investigation of Darfur crimes.