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Sudan Peace Talks Taking Place In Kenya

UN Adviser Backing Sudan Peace Talks Taking Place In Kenya

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Adviser on Africa has travelled to Kenya to observe the negotiations there aimed at ending Sudan's 20-year civil war.

Mohamed Sahnoun's visit comes as the UN continues with its planning for post-peace requirements and rehabilitation in Sudan, Africa's largest country, in anticipation of a successful result to the peace talks.

The Sudanese Government and southern rebel groups, including the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), have been holding talks in Naivasha, Kenya, in an attempt to resolve their long-running conflict. An estimated 4.5 million people have become refugees or internally displaced in the past two decades because of the war.

UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said today in New York that Mr. Sahnoun has met both sides and travelled to other countries in the region to bolster support for the peace negotiations. Mr. Sahnoun will also visit Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, during his tour.

While the negotiations to resolve the conflict in Sudan's south have progressed, a separate year-long conflict progresses in the Darfur region in Sudan's west. UN agencies have estimated that more than 110,000 people have fled into neighbouring Chad to escape violent clashes between Khartoum, the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and militias.

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