BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Friday, 11 October, 2002, 07:34 GMT 08:34 UK
No attacks during Sudan peace talks
Sudan rebels
Sudan's civil war has dragged on for two decades
Rebels fighting in southern Sudan have confirmed they will stop hostilities during peace talks called for Monday in Kenya.

Speaking to the Reuters news agency in Kenya, a spokesman for the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army said that if the government signs an agreement to stop fighting, the rebels will do the same.

The Sudanese Government sent a team of negotiators to the peace talks just a day after recapturing a key town from rebels.

President Omar al-Bashir told a victory rally that retaking the southern garrison town of Torit on Tuesday had allowed the resumption of talks to end 19 years of civil war "on our terms", not those dictated by the rebels.

However the SPLA said it had destroyed a government convoy of about 3,000 troops which was heading for the rebel-held town of Tiam, in the southern Western Upper Nile province.

"This is a big victory for us," a spokesman for the SPLA, Samson Kwaje, told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

Ambush

Mr Kwaje said that government forces were travelling in a large convoy to Tiam to overrun the SPLA headquarters there, and the rebels laid an ambush on the road parallel to the River Bar el Ghazal.

The soldiers, he said, were shot dead or drowned in the river.

"The government is out to chase all SPLA from the area before the talks in Machakos next week."

"They want to push us away further from the oil fields," Mr Kwaje said.

In a separate statement, the SPLA says it captured two towns in eastern Sudan near the Eritrean border - Rasai 1 and Rasai 2 - on Tuesday.

'Restraint'

Last week, the two sides agreed to a cessation of hostilities and the resumption of peace talks on 14 October to end the civil war.

Talks were suspended after the SPLA took Torit last month.

The memorandum of understanding last week called for a military stand-down by all forces and the maximum of restraint.

Sudan
Continued fighting undermines the peace talks

The agreement was hailed as a major breakthrough, although it amounted to a climb-down for the government, which had settled for less than it wanted.

The aim of the Machakos talks is to finalise an accord to end the war.

Under the agreement, the mainly Christian and animist south will enjoy six years of self-rule, before deciding in a referendum whether to secede or to remain part of the Sudanese state, which is dominated by the Muslim north.

Sudan's war has killed an estimated two million people since 1983, and displaced another four million.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
SPLA's Samson Kwaje
"They want to push us away further from the oil fields"

Key stories

Background
See also:

08 Oct 02 | Africa
04 Oct 02 | Africa
22 Sep 02 | Africa
10 Sep 02 | Africa
09 Sep 02 | Africa
02 Sep 02 | Africa
30 Jul 02 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes