Sudan's government and rebels fighting for the self-determination of the southern region will resume peace talks on Thursday in Kenya, Khartoum's deputy ambassador in Nairobi told AFP Wednesday.
Ahmed Dirdeiry said negotiations between the government delegation and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) will take place in the Lake Bogoria Hotel in the west Kenyan Rift Valley district of Baringo.
"The focus will be on the issue of separation of state and religion, self-administration for the south and the right to self-determination," said Dirdeiry.
He said the government delegation to the talks would be led by Ahmed Ibrahim et-Tahir, the adviser to the president on peace affairs.
The SPLM/A team of negotiators will be headed by Nhial Deng Nhial, the movement's secretary for foreign affairs and international cooperation, according to Justic Yac, the group's representative in Kenya.
"We are ready for the talks," said Yac.
The rebel movement had in May announced a boycott of the peace process after accusing the government of bombing civilian targets in the southern Sudan.
That boycott was lifted in June, but talks did not restart immediately because of a dispute over when to resume negotiations.
Both parties to the conflict have been through fruitless negotiations since 1993 in talks sponsored by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a group of seven east African nations.
Kenya chairs an IGAD committee trying to end the conflict.
The last round of the tortuous negotiations in Nairobi in April ended with no agreement on the two key issues discussed -- the separation of state and religion and the administrative setup of the country.
Sudan's civil war is set against a background of resistance by the mainly animist and Christian south to the Islamic regime in Khartoum.
But since 1983, control over resources, including humanitarian aid, has taken an increasingly important role in the conflict -- NAIROBI (AFP)
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