Sudan and Rebels Pave Way to End War

But Cease-Fire Still Has to Be Negotiated

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NAIROBI, Kenya, JULY 21, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The weekend agreement between Sudan’s government and rebels of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army won’t bring about an immediate cease-fire, an official Kenyan statement reported.

The Khartoum government and the SPLA reached an agreement here Saturday on key points for ending the almost 20-year conflict that has left up to 1.5 million dead and 4 million displaced.

Both sides agreed to maintain a “six-month period of self-determination during which the constitutional structures will be organized, without mutual interference,” the statement said. At the end of that period a new meeting will be held in Nairobi, the text added.

The weekend agreement touches on “the right of self-determination of the people of southern Sudan and relations between the state and religion,” the official note stated.

“The parties decided to continue negotiations on the remaining topics of primary importance — shared power and wealth, human rights, and a cease-fire — when talks are renewed in mid-August,” the statement continued.

The parties emphasized that “the cease-fire will be the last element that will guarantee the current political agreement,” once the agreement protocol is signed, SPLA spokesman Samson Kwaje said during a press conference.

The Arab-Muslim north and the majority animist and Christian south have been involved in an armed conflict since 1983, when Islamic law was established.

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ZENIT Staff

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