Sudanese Peace Summit Scheduled for Early June
Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir and the country's main rebel leader, John Garang of the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), are to attend a peace summit aimed at ending the country's 18-year civil war, reported the Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN).
The meeting, scheduled for June 2 in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, is expected to include high-level representatives from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.
Muhammad Dirdeiry, spokesman for the Sudanese Embassy in Nairobi, told IRIN that he was hopeful the meeting would reinvigorate the peace process in Sudan.
"We hope that the meeting between Garang and Bashir will lead to the long-awaited comprehensive ceasefire," he said. The meeting, organized by the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), will be the first peace summit between the Sudanese government and the SPLA since 1997.
SPLA spokesman Samson Kwaje told IRIN that he expected IGAD as a whole would review the peace process. "We hope the meeting will push the peace process forward," he said.
However, government and rebel troops engaged in new armed confrontations with both sides claiming they won the round. Rebels said in a statement that 400 government soldiers were killed, while officials deny the allegations and claim victory for Khartoum’s Islamic government.
Two million people have died in the crippling civil war between the Christian and animist rebels fighting for autonomy and the northern Khartoum government – Albawaba.com
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