On Sunday, Sudan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mustafa Ismail said in Tripoli that he believed his government would soon sign an accord allowing for a renewal of US efforts aimed at ending his country's 18-year civil war.
"We are conducting constant dialogue with Washington and we predict that there will be concluded in the next days an accord for re-launching American efforts to establish peace in Sudan," he told journalists during a meeting of foreign ministers of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (COMESSA), according to AFP.
"There are discussions on an accord for the protection of civilians, which should be concluded soon, and we will see then which direction the efforts of the United States will take," he said.
On Saturday, Khartoum declared that it had received a US proposition aimed at ending the bombardment of civilians in the southern part of the country, notably comprising a definition of civilian targets and a method of verifying cease-fire violations.
Washington has announced that it would suspend talks with the government regarding its efforts to end the war until Khartoum offered a full explanation for a February 20 helicopter raid in southern Sudan that killed 17 civilians who had been receiving UN food aid.
On Thursday, a special adviser to Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir expressed Khartoum's "regret" for the incident, which it called a “mistake”, and the government has said it would launch an investigation into the matter.
Sudan had accepted a moratorium on bombing civilian targets, however charges that rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) use civilian installations as shields.
At least one million people have been killed in Sudan's civil war, which has pitted a coalition of animist and Christian rebel groups from the north and south against successive Arab and Muslim governments in Khartoum. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )