Sudan peace accord 'likely soon'

Sudanese rebel leader John Garang says he sees a good chance of reaching a peace agreement with the government by the end of the year.

    John Garang (L) and Ali Osman Taha (R) during peace talks

    The US State Department on Friday said Garang had given Secretary of State Colin Powell a fresh undertaking to tie up a deal this year.

    "We hope that we will reach a final, just and comprehensive agreement before the end of the year," said Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) chief Garang after Friday's meeting in Washington with Powell. 

    Powell attended peace talks in Naivasha on 22 October, saying at the time the Khartoum government and opposition were prepared to negotiate an accord by the end of December.

    But both the Sudanese government and Garang's SPLA have played down the importance of meeting the target in peace talks which resume in Kenya on 30 November, after a break for the holy month of Ramadan.

    Garang said that he and Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha would join the talks on or around 5 December.

    In dispute

    The negotiators have three main points to settle - the status of three disputed areas and how to share power and wealth.

    Sudan's war erupted in 1983 when Garang's SPLA took up arms to end domination of the mainly Christian and animist south by the Muslim north.

    The war has left 1.5 million people dead and four million displaced.

    Earlier this month, the deputy leader of the rebel movement said in Cairo that the peace talks were very unlikely to reach agreement by the end of the year.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    Why America's Russia hysteria is dangerous

    The US exaggerating and obsessing about foreign threats seems quite similar to what is happening in Russia.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months