Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and SPLM-N leader Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu hold up hands during the visit to Kauda [Nariman El-Mofty/AP]

Kauda, Sudan – For nearly nine years, people in rebel-held Kauda in Sudan’s South Kordofan state have been monitoring the skies for the planes coming from capital Khartoum.

The residents in Kauda watched the movement of aircraft to warn others of either the government’s surveillance or dropping of bombs in the conflict-ridden area.

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But for the first time since the war broke out in 2011, three planes from Khartoum landed in Kauda on Thursday, carrying representatives from Sudan’s months-old transitional government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok as well as diplomats and representatives from humanitarian organisations.

“After all the bombardments that used to come from

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