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Sudanese Government, Southern Rebels Sign Final Peace Accords

The Sudanese government and southern rebels have signed peace accords, marking the completion of a deal to end 21 years of civil war.

One of the accords signed Friday is a permanent cease-fire, while the other covers details of how the final peace deal will be implemented.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and South African President Thabo Mbeki attended the ceremony in the Kenyan town of Naivasha, where previous talks have yielded several partial agreements.

Friday's signing fulfills a pledge by the government and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army to reach an agreement by the end of 2004.

Now, all that remains is for top negotiators from both sides to sign a final document. Mediators say that will likely take place January 9.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.