The Qatari capital Doha has hosted direct peace talks between the Sudanese government and various Sudanese opposition groups, in the run-up to next month's general elections.

It will be the first multiparty poll in a quarter of a century.

Since 2003, the country has been embroiled in fighting with numerous armed groups in what has become known as the Darfur conflict.

The unrest has claimed up to 300,000 lives and displaced nearly 2.7 million people.

Despite several attempts by Qatar to broker peace deals over the years, no agreement has been fully implemented and violence continues to bedevil the western Sudanese province.

In Doha for the ongoing negotiations, Scott Gration, the US special envoy to Sudan, told Al Jazeera on Friday that the latest round was different from past initiatives because of "more participation at the presidential level".

The negotiations have involved Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's president; the biggest armed opposition groups; the African Union; and the UN.

"There are more people interested in seeing success" in a power-sharing agreement between all sides of the conflict, Gration said.

Source: Al Jazeera