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East Sudan peace talks parties agree on development plan

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Aug 18, 2006 (ASMARA) — Eritrean peace talks mediated between Sudanese government and eastern Sudan rebels achieved discussion on questions of wealth and development programs for the region.

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The signing of the procedural arrangements for eastern Sudan peace talks, Asmara, May 25, 2006 (ERINA)

According to a press release by the Eritrean mediator, "the two parties agreed on an extensive developmental initiative for eastern Sudan". The third round of negotiations was held in Asmara during the period from 8 to 17 august.

The Eritrean mediator, who imposed blackout on the talks, didn’t give further details on the conclusions of the accord of the Joint Committee on the comprehensive development program for eastern Sudan.

The two parties reached a framework for the development of the region; but there are divergences over the money allocated by the central government for the implementation of these programs.

The Sudanese government wants to include all government “old” projects — e.g.Setaiat Dam, Port Sudan water & Electricity project — as part of the fund while the rebels refuse this position.
Earlier reports suggested that GOS is willing to offer about $ 900 million, however, now it refuses to talk about more than almost one-third of that figure.

The talks are set to resume on August 21 when delegates will focus on security and military arrangements, Eritrean medaitor said in his statement.

The head of the Sudanese government delegation was optimistic to reach an agreement with the Eastern Front by the end of next October.

(ST)

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