Ex-rebel leader John Garang has been sworn in as Sudan’s vice-president, ending two decades of civil war.
His inauguration came after President Omar al-Bashir signed a power-sharing constitution at a ceremony in the capital, Khartoum.
The new constitution is a key aspect of a peace deal agreed in January.
Southern Sudan is to be given some autonomy and former rebels are due to take up cabinet seats next month.
As well as being named national vice-president, Mr Garang will head the autonomous administration in southern Sudan for six years, ahead of a referendum on possible secession.
One-and-a-half million people died in the conflict between the mainly Muslim north and Christian south, which lasted 21 years.
It’s great that they’ve reached peace at last, but I can’t but wonder why they couldn’t have done this earlier?!
Why did all those people have to die?!
Why did there have to be 21 years of horror and terror?!
I have a number of Sudanese friends, some of whom fought in the war and who were deeply affected by it both physically and psychologically; they still have nightmares of it to this very day, and the stories they told me are truly horrifying.
As for the people who didn’t fight in the war, they were always afraid of going back to Sudan and being thrown into the war by force.
Why did all that have to happen?
Why did all these people and their families have to suffer?
Why is it so hard for leaders to think of the people first and try again and again and again to reach peace?