Warring Sudanese Sides to Discuss Sharing Nation\'s Wealth
The Sudanese government and southern rebels will meet in Kenya next week to discuss how to share oil-rich Sudan's wealth more fairly amid outside efforts to end their civil war, officials said Monday.
The two sides will take part in the three-day seminar starting November 14 that was called by the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Nairobi, Kenya, next week, a senior government official said.
The event is aimed at shaping ideas for future talks by the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) on distributing wealth, Presidential Adviser for Peace Affairs Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir told reporters.
The Heglig oil fields in Unity State are the source of the crude that made Sudan an oil exporter in August 1999.
The SPLA has launched offensives in the oil-producing areas and said it regards oil installations as legitimate targets, since it maintains that oil revenues are financing the government's war effort.
Western experts have put the cost of the war at a million dollars a day.
The mainly Christian and animist SPLA rebels of southern Sudan have been fighting Khartoum's successive Arab and Islamic governments since 1983.
IGAD has sponsored various talks over the last few years in a bid to end the war. Egypt and Libya launched a separate drive last year aimed at bringing peace to the country.
Tahir added meanwhile that another seminar on power-sharing and on the relationship between religion and the government will probably be held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in which the two sides will take part – KHARTOUM (AFP)
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