The Qatar talks led to Sudan announcing the release on Saturday of 24 detainees involved in the Darfur conflict after a similar goodwill gesture by Jem, who released 21 government soldiers in advance of the peace negotiations.

The developments come as the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague debates whether to issue a warrant for al-Bashir's arrest in connection to alleged war crimes carried out in Darfur.

The ICC's chief prosecutor asked last July for a warrant to be issued against al-Bashir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur.

According to the UN, around 300,000 people have died and more than 2.2 million fled their homes since ethnic minority rebels in Darfur rose up against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government in 2003.

However, the Sudanese government disputes the UN's figures, putting the death toll at 10,000.