DARFUR: AFTER COMBAT, GOVERNMENT AND REBELS RESUME NEGOTIATIONS

Direct talks between the Sudanese government and the Justice and Equality Movement rebels (JEM), one of the main Darfur based rebel groups, have resumed yesterday in an attempt to reach a peace accord after the intense fighting of the previous days. African Union (AU) and UN mediators, whoa re engaged in the talks, said that the parties met in Doha (in Qatar) to discuss the differences on the draft agreement that was presented to them by the mediators. In the previous days, units of the Sudanese regular army and the JEM clashed repeatedly in the areas of Dar el Salam and Shangilit Tobayi (in the State of North Darfur, one of three states making up the Darfur region). The violence, said to have left dozens dead, has reached a peak between last Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, the chief mediator, Djibril Bassole, had invited the parties to end the fighting and to resume the negotiations. The proposed agreement provides for an understanding for an immediate cessation of hostilities and the full resumption of the peace talks needed to reach a definitive accord. Sources from the UN-AU mission in Darfur (UNAMID) have confirmed that in the past 48 hours there was no evidence of combat in the region, noting, however, that the security situation in North and South Darfur remains “extremely tense”.

[BO]

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