Monday, June 12, 2006

Sudan: Eastern Peace Talks Postponed

From AFP
via The Coalition for Darfur

Peace talks between the Sudanese government and eastern rebels, due to start on Tuesday in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, had been postponed to Friday, said an official from the rebel movement.

The negotiations were postponed pending the outcome of a Monday meeting in Khartoum between Eritrean President Assaias Afeworki and Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir.

Mahmud Ghandur of Beja Congress, the largest faction in the rebel Eastern Front, said: "President Afeworki is paying the visit to Khartoum mainly to discuss the question of east Sudan and the related negotiations his country will sponsor."


Several Libyan-sponsored initiatives failed to bring an end to the sporadic fighting that had plagued Sudan's eastern states, where the rebels held a strip of territory along the Eritrean border.

Created last year by the region's largest ethnic group, the Beja, and Rashidiya Arabs, the Eastern Front had similar aims to its counterparts in Darfur - greater autonomy and control over the area's resources.

The rebel Justice and Equality Movement, active in Darfur, had also emerged as a key player in eastern Sudan.

It demanded a seat at the presidency as part of any peace settlement, but had not been invited to the Asmara talks.