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Kenya to continue hosting Sudan peace talks: official


NAIROBI, Jul 28, 2003 (Xinhua) — A senior Kenyan official has said his country will continue hosting the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) sponsored Sudan peace talks to resolve the Sudanese conflict.

The world has accepted the IGAD process, and any other sentiments are "diversionary and contrary to the wishes of the Sudanese people," Kenyan Minister for Foreign Affairs Kalonzo Musyoka was quoted by Monday’s Kenya Times as saying.

Musyoka’s remarks follow a proposal by the Sudanese government during the African Union Summit in Maputo this month, in which it called for the involvement of South Africa in the peace process.

The IGAD peace process is not for Kenyans despite its chief mediator being a Kenyan national, Musyoka said.

"There is no alternative to this process, and the world should stand firm in its commitment to ensure that the long-running Sudanese conflict comes to an end", he added.

The Sudanese civil war started as the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) took up arms fighting for self- determination in the southern part of the country in 1983.

The conflict has left some two million people dead, mostly through war-induced famine and disease.

The Sudanese government and the SPLA began peace talks last July in Kenya under the auspices of IGAD, a seven-member regional group in East Africa, consisting of Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Uganda, Eritrea, Tanzania and the Sudan.

Kenya is the current chairman of the IGAD ministerial sub- committee on the Sudan.

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