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Tuesday, 21 May, 2002, 09:43 GMT 10:43 UK
US commits to Sudan peace
Dignitaries celebrate the opening of an oil well in 1999
The US wants Sudan to share oil money with the rebels
The United States Government says it will commit financial and human resources to resolving the long-running civil war in Sudan.

The top Africa specialist at the US State Department, Walter Kansteiner, did not say exactly how much money or US personnel would be deployed.

SPLA leader, John Garang
John Garang's SPLA has been fighting for 20 years
But he said the aid would be primarily channelled through Kenya which is involved in efforts to bring peace to Sudan.

Mr Kansteiner was speaking following a meeting between President George W Bush and the US peace envoy to Sudan, John Danforth.

Earlier this month, Mr Danforth recommended that the Sudan Government shares its oil revenues with SPLA rebels fighting for autonomy for the Christian and Animist south.

'Viable peace'

Kenya leads the regional conflict resolution body, the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development, Igad, which includes Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Igad has been trying to end the conflict in Sudan, while a joint Egyptian-Libyan proposal has also been put forward.

US peace envoy in Sudan, John Danforth
Danforth is optimistic that peace can be achieved in Sudan

"We don't want to be so categorical about it, but Igad definitely has the lead," Mr Kansteiner said.

"The next steps for the administration are focused on means for achieving a just and viable peace in Sudan, and we intend to actively support the efforts of the international community in doing that," he said.

He also called on other members of the international community, in particular the UK and Norway, to help end the war in Sudan.

Sudan is still on a US list of states which "sponsor terrorism" but has given some assistance to Mr Bush's "war on terror" since the 11 September attacks.

The US does not have any diplomatic representation in Sudan but works through neighbouring Kenya and Ethiopia.

See also:

25 Apr 02 | Africa
26 Mar 02 | Business
11 Mar 02 | Africa
09 Jan 02 | Africa
21 Apr 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
07 Mar 02 | Country profiles
19 Mar 02 | Middle East
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