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Thursday, 8 November, 2001, 19:25 GMT
Sudanese opposition leader returns

The Sudanese opposition leader and former head of state, Ahmed al-Mirghani, has appealed for reconciliation after returning to Sudan after 12 years' exile in Egypt.

Thousands of people, including senior government officials and opposition leaders, welcomed Mr Mirghani on his arrival by private plane in Khartoum.

He told the Sudanese media he had come back to bring together all the parties and to end fighting in Sudan, which has been racked by a long-running civil war in the south.

Mr Mirghani was head of the state council - the body representing the country's political parties - when the current Sudanese President, Omar al-Beshir, seized power in 1989. He was in Egypt at the time and stayed there in self-imposed exile.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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