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Sudan Government, Rebels Sign Truce

A major Sudanese rebel group in Darfur has signed a cease-fire agreement with Sudan's government following negotiations in neighboring Chad.

A statement from the Chadian presidency in Ndjamena Saturday said the cease-fire between the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudanese government takes effect immediately.

Earlier, a JEM spokesman said discussions with the government had resulted in a framework for future negotiations. He said details of a final peace plan would be worked out in direct talks with Khartoum.

Saturday's agreement is part of a larger effort to end the seven-year conflict in Darfur that has claimed more than 300,000 lives and left 2.7 million displaced.

After the deal was announced, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir announced that he would cancel the death sentences of all JEM prisoners and promised to release 30 percent of them.

More than 100 JEM rebels were convicted and sentenced to death for involvement in a 2008 attack on Khartoum.

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