KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal’s government and a communist rebel group formally signed a peace agreement Friday that it is hoped will end violent attacks, extortion and bombings by the rebels.

Rebel leader Netra Bikram Chand, who is better known by his guerrilla name Biplav, emerged out of hiding on Friday after the government lifted a ban on his Nepal Communist Party group so it could take part in the public signing of the peace agreement.

“Nepal has entered a peaceful era. There is no more violence in Nepal or any any violent conflicts left in Nepal,” Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli said at the ceremony.

Under the peace deal, the government will lift its ban on the group, release all of their party members and supporters from jail and drop all legal cases against them. In exchange the rebel group agrees to give up all violence and resolve any issues through peaceful dialogue.

This group had split from the Maoist Communist party, which fought government troops between 1996 and 2006, when it gave up its armed revolt, agreed to U.N.-monitored peace talks and joined mainstream politics.

The Maoist fighting had left 17,000 people killed, hundreds missing and many more maimed.