Darfur parley to examine political issues

N'djamena- Chad (PANA) -- Peace talks, which formally resumed here Tuesday on the conflict in Darfur, western Sudan will focus on political issues after clearing up hitches in the enforcement of a 45-day truce agreed 8 April between the belligerents.
When opening the second round of the negotiations, Chadian Foreign Minister Nagoum Yamassoum announced that the parties would negotiate "the definitive resolution of their conflict and discuss conditions for an inclusive solution.
" In the first round of talks last December, Chadian mediators failed to reconcile the positions of the rebels and the Khartoum government.
The negotiations hit a snag over what Khartoum described as "unacceptable" claims of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), the only rebel group then engaged in talks with the government.
On Tuesday evening, the Sudanese government delegation expressed readiness for frank discussions on the problems of the Darfur region.
According to observers, the two rebel groups are very likely to stick to their earlier claims and even make more demands, including those of the Movement for Justice and Equality (MJE).
Autonomy for Darfur, the sharing of oil revenue (13 percent for the region) are the main points demanded by the MLS in December 2003.
Before discussing political issues during this second round of talks, the belligerents shall communicate the name of their representatives for the Commission monitoring the humanitarian cease-fire signed last 8 April at the end of the first round.
The move basically consists in defining modalities for implementation of the truce in order to ensure security for the population and easy access to humanitarian assistance.
Yamassoum hinted at a slight improvement of the situation on the ground, even as the rebels denounced a violation of the cease- fire by the government.
A rebel spokesman reported a raid on a dozen Darfur villages last Monday, saying they were set ablaze by Arab Janjaweed militiamen who killed 35 people.
"The humanitarian situation in Darfur has deteriorated and food and medical supplies have not reached the population," he said.
A delegation of the African Union (AU) is due in N'djamena to back up the Chadian mediation.

22 april 2004 10:39:00

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