UK Warns Darfur Rebels Not to Skip Talks

Summit is aimed at uniting rebels for later talks with Sudan
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2007 8:35 AM CDT
The governor of North Darfur, Youssouf Kebir, center, shakes hands with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, right, as Nobel peace laureate, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, left, looks on at the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The UK Minister for Africa warned Sudanese rebel factions yesterday that if they boycott upcoming talks in Libya, “their role in the peace negotiations may be finished." The talks are aimed at finding common ground among the rebel groups in preparation for later talks with the Sudan government. The threat drew criticism from rebel leaders, some of whom demanded more peacekeepers in Sudan before attending the talks.

Some of the largest of more than a dozen rebel groups had threatened not to attend the talks which start Oct. 27 and are endorsed by the UN Security Council.  And while many in Darfur are skeptical of the talks' chances, an Egyptian minister echoed the UK position: "Halt military operations and seize the chance to make negotiations successful."