Home | News    Saturday 5 June 2004

Nigeria commends Sudanese president, rebel group on peace deal


ABUJA, June 4 (AFP) — President Olusegun Obasanjo has congratulated his Sudanese counterpart Omar al-Beshir on the historic peace deal signed with the main rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

The SPLA and Khartoum signed accords last week on the last three issues barring the way to a final, global accord, after two years of intense peace talks in Kenya aimed at ending Africa’s longest-running civil war.

"I salute you and your fellow countrymen and women for the courage and the visible desire to map out a new path to peace, inclusion, accommodation, tolerance and democratic governance," Obasanjo said in a letter to al-Beshir, a copy of which was made available to Agence France-Presse yesterday.

Obasanjo said the accords will serve as a positive signal to the world that both parties are committed to peace.

The power-sharing deal between the mainly Christian and aminist southern rebels and the Muslim north of Sudan leaves only the details of a comprehensive ceasefire and its implementation to be worked out.

Final talks are due to begin on June 22.

However, the deals do not affect the western Darfur region of Sudan, where a separate war has claimed at least 10,000 lives and raised the spectre of a devastating humanitarian crisis that could see up to one million people die, the UN and international officials have said.

At least one and a half million people have been killed and more than four million displaced since the SPLA launched its rebellion in 1983.

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