Sudanese gov't, rebel group agree to extend ceasefire deal

18:43, July 22, 2010      

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The Sudanese government and Darfur's rebel group, the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), on Thursday agreed to extend a ceasefire agreement born in March to find enough time for further peace talks.

Nlam, the chief negotiator for the LJM, told Xinhua by phone that Khartoum and the rebel group are trying to make consensus on power-sharing and refugees of the conflicts in the ongoing peace talks.

"We have to put into consideration a lot of things and find the disagreement points," he said, without giving a possible dateline for a long-expected peace deal.

The extension agreement was signed by Sudanese government representative for the Darfur peace talks Amin Hassan Omar and Tijani Seise, leader of the LJM.

Mediator Qatar's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ahmad bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud said the two sides would organize a mechanism for the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.

The March ceasefire between the Sudanese government and the LJM featured a temporary ceasefire and terms guiding future peace negotiations, and was hailed as a significant step to inject momentum in efforts to halt conflicts in the restive western Sudanese region.

The LJM was integrated from ten rebel groups on Feb. 23 in Qatar's capital Doha, the venue for the current round of peace negotiations.

Khartoum also signed in February a similar ceasefire deal with Darfur's key guerrilla, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). But the JEM in May froze further peace talks on the accusation that the government launched continued attacks on them.

Another major armed group, the Sudan Liberation Army, has shunned peace talks with the Sudanese government since 2006.

Sudanese government representative Amin Hassan Omar told Xinhua last Thursday that "many consultations" are needed before a final peace deal with rebel groups could be materialize and Khartoum can only make concessions on "reasonable demands" from the rebel groups.

Source: Xinhua


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