Khartoum silent on troubled peace talks with rebels

Sudanese government officials kept silent on the development of peace talks with southern rebels in Kenya, reported to be on the verge of collapse.

State radio made no mention of the talks in its morning news bulletins. A source from the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) said Friday the talks, which opened Monday in Nanyuki, central Kenya, were “deadlocked and on the verge of collapse”. The source told AFP the talks had reached stalemate after the Sudanese government refused to negotiate on the basis of a framework document drawn up by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an east African regional body. The government delegation maintains that the document, rejected by Khartoum, should not be referred to in the talks. But the SPLA insists that the IGAD-approved text must be the basis for attempts to reach a settlement ending Sudan’s 20-year civil war. Khartoum and the SPLA struck a breakthrough accord in July 2002 granting the south the right to self-determination after a six-year transition period and exempting it from Islamic law. Full Story

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