Sudan Declares Truce at Darfur Peace Talks
But two top factions aren't there, and a third has doubts
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2007 4:37 PM CDT
Sudanese Foreign Minister Lam Akol talks to reporters during a press conference in Khartoum, Sudan in 2007. Darfur peace talks started today, but two key factions refused to attend.(AP Photo/Abd Raouf,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Sudan declared a ceasefire at Darfur peace talks today, but two top factions weren't there to hear it, and one other met the pledge with suspicion. “The government has said several times since 2004 that they observed a ceasefire,” said one rebel leader. “We have our doubts.” Last year's peace talks sparked increased fighting, more than a dozen new factions and attacks on civilians and aid workers.

UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon urged all rebels to attend the conference and prevent a similar escalation this year, Reuters reports. But host and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi stressed that this is a tribal war that can't be stopped by foreigners. "Intervention by outsiders will only fan the flames of conflict," he said. Some analysts tally 200,000 deaths in the fighting so far, a number that Sudan rejects as too high.