Mediators extend Sudanese peace talks on Darfur

N'Djamena- Chad (PANA) -- Mediators in peace talks between the Sudanese government and rebels over the Darfur region have announced an extension in the talks convening in the Chadian capital, N'Djamena.
Since Friday, representatives of the Sudanese government and the rebels have not met face-to-face, opting for separate meetings with negotiators at the Chadian foreign ministry.
"The extension means that we are optimistic," said Ahmed Alam-mi, spokesman for the mediators and adviser to Chadian President Idriss Deby at the weekend.
He said Chadian mediators wanted a 10-day period to reach a consensus that forms a basis for a lasting peace.
Recent intense renewed fighting in the disputed Darfur region has left hundreds of thousands internally and externally displaced and in dire need of humanitarian relief.
Alam-mi also said a contentious point was the involvement of third parties in the talks, with the rebels wanting the European Union (EU), United States, France and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, while Khartoum rejects their presence at the talks.
He has, meanwhile, declined to discuss the basic demands of the conflicting parties, noting that Chad shared the views of both parties on concluding a cease-fire and setting the basis for a final and comprehensive settlement of the conflict.

05 april 2004 14:05:00

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