Khartoum: "The war in Darfur is over," Sudan`s President Omar al-Bashir said on Wednesday in a speech in the war-torn region, adding that 57 members of a key rebel group, 50 on death row, had been freed.
Speaking in El-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, Bashir made the announcement a day after his government and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) signed a ceasefire and agreed to work towards a full peace agreement.
"The crisis in Darfur is finished; the war in Darfur is over. Darfur is now at peace," he said of the seven-year conflict that devastated the region.
"The combat of arms is over, and the one of development now begins," added Bashir, the subject of an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur.
"We need to make more efforts to develop Sudan and Darfur," he said.
The prisoners freed on Wednesday represented half of JEM`s members in jail, Justice Minister AbdelBasit Sabdarat said outside Kober prison on the outskirts of Khartoum.