Home | News    Friday 17 October 2003

Peace negotiations ’’hit rock’’, says negotiator

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NAIROBI, Oct. 17, 2003 (IRIN) — Peace negotiations between the Sudanese government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) taking place in Naivasha Kenya have "hit a rock", according to Malik Agar Eyre, SPLM commander and Governor of Southern Blue Nile region.

He said the atmosphere remained "cordial and friendly" but there was a deadlock in all three committees discussing the pending issues of power sharing, wealth sharing and the contested areas of Southern Blue Nile, Abyei and the Nuba mountains.

"To say we are confident is too much," he told IRIN. "We are cautiously optimistic."

The SPLM Chairman, John Garang, and the Sudanese Vice-President, Ali Osman Taha, were expected to start face-to-face negotiations on Saturday, he said, having held an opening ceremony in Naivasha on Friday morning.

At the opening, Kenyan Foreign Minister Kalonzo Musyoka urged the parties to resolve their differences and reminded them that "the world was watching". He added it was likely that US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, would visit Kenya next week to encourage the parties, or to witness the signing of an agreement.

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