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Former Darfur Rebel Leader Sworn In as Presidential Assistant


The leader of the Darfur rebel group Sudan Liberation Movement has been sworn in as special assistant to the Sudanese president.

The government officially appointed Minni Minnawi as special assistant to President Omar al-Beshir in a ceremony that took place Monday in the capital, Khartoum.

Minnawi's faction was the only group to sign the May 5 peace deal with the Sudanese government, brokered by the African Union.

The Sudanese government created the post for Minnawi shortly after his group threatened to stop implementing the peace accord and accused the government of ignoring its commitments.

Minnawi was expected in Khartoum on Saturday, but abruptly postponed his trip when the government initially failed to appoint him to his post.

Violence in Darfur has killed nearly 200,000 people and displaced about two million others over the past three years.

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