In its first official act, Sudan’s new coalition Cabinet endorsed a tentative peace agreement with southern rebels that calls for an immediate cease-fire in the country’s six-year civil war. The peace plan also calls for an end to the state of emergency in force since 1985 and the suspension of plans to introduce Islamic law until a national constitutional conference can be held. The rebels negotiated the agreement in November with the centrist Democratic Unionist Party, then the senior partner in Prime Minister Sadek Mahdi’s Cabinet. Parliament, however, rejected the plan. Mahdi subsequently agreed to form a more broadly based government and to pursue peace talks with the rebels.