Sudan OKs Darfur Peace Talks

Foreign minister backs UN-AU initiative
By Marie Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2007 9:51 AM CDT
Sudan OKs Darfur Peace Talks
The convoy of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, unseen, pass by a Sudanese man riding a camel after visiting the Um Shalaya refugee camp south of the Darfur town of Al-Geneina, Sudan, Wednesday, April 25, 2007. The UNHCR chief was welcomed with traditional songs by Chadian...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Months of negotiations over the crisis in Darfur have culminated in agreements by the Sudanese government to participate in peace talks and to admit a joint UN-African union peacekeeping force to the region. Security Council reps visited Khartoum yesterday and nailed down details that addressed the government's concerns, Reuters reports—namely, that the peacekeepers will be under African control.

Peace talks could begin as soon as August, with the greatest potential stumbling block being the splintering of rebel forces into more than a dozen factions. "The problem is with the other side," the foreign minister said. Meanwhile, Oxfam announced its permanent withdrawal from the largest refugee camp in Darfur in the wake of a December attack on aid workers. (Read more Darfur stories.)

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