Sudan Pushes Darfur Ceasefire

Cooperation from rebels uncertain; past such efforts proved fruitless
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2008 4:13 PM CST
An armed pro-government janjaweed fighter passes a Sudanese camel herder at a marketplace in western Darfur, April 21, 2007.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir announced a unilateral ceasefire in Darfur today, saying the government would begin disarming militias. But no rebels were included in the ceasefire discussions, and similar declarations have failed repeatedly. Bashir is trying to persuade international prosecutors to hold off on attempts to indict him for genocide, the BBC reports.

An international prosecutor tried to get a warrant for Bashir’s arrest in July for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The president has since felt pressure to resolve the conflict, but has excluded rebel groups from his plans. One official said today the government would attempt to contact rebels and promote the ceasefire, but one major group told the BBC it had no intention of listening.