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Breakaway Factions of Darfur Rebel Groups Sign 'Commitment' to Peace Accord

Breakaway factions of two Sudanese rebel groups that rejected the Darfur peace accord have signed a document committing to the deal.

The two splinter groups signed an annex to the agreement at a ceremony in Ethiopia Thursday.

The initial agreement was signed by Sudan's government and Darfur's largest rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Movement, on May 5.

But a faction of the SLM and a smaller rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), have refused to sign. Members of the groups who wanted to join the deal participated in Thursday's signing ceremony.

The Darfur peace accord calls for the disarmament of government-backed "janjaweed" militias and rebel groups, who have been fighting in Darfur for three years.

Reports out of Darfur indicate that violence has escalated in the past month as the various groups try to secure more territory before a ceasefire is implemented.

The French news agency, AFP, reports a member, Abdurahman Adam Abdurahman Aburisha of the JEM splinter group is calling himself president of the new faction, while re-naming it after himself JEM Aburisha.

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