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Friday, 25 October, 2002, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Sudan truce broken
Sudanese civilians
Civilians have paid a heavy price during the war
Sudan's Government and rebels have accused each other of breaking a truce between them.

About two million people have been killed in the 19 year civil war, but the first nationwide truce came into force when peace talks began in Kenya 10 days ago.

The Sudanese Government accused Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) rebels of carrying out attacks on Thursday in the oil-rich province of Western Upper Nile.

The government says two villages, Koch and Thorken, 80 kilometres south of the town of Bentiu, were attacked.

SPLA spokesman Samson Kwaje said it was the government that broke the truce, carrying out attacks on three rebel-held villages on Thursday.

Correspondents say the drilling for oil in Western Upper Nile province by foreign companies has led to intensified fighting in recent years.

Talks

The Kenyan mediator of the talks, Lieutenant-General Lazaro Sumbiewo, said he was unaware of the latest claims, but said the talks were continuing to go very well.

They are due to last five weeks but could be extended to the end of the year if necessary.

The SPLA first accused Khartoum of breaking the truce only 10 minutes after it came into effect last Thursday in fighting in eastern Sudan near the Eritrean border.

US President George Bush
Bush will evaluate the peace process every six months
Earlier this week a resolution was signed by United States President George W Bush threatening sanctions if the authorities did not negotiate "in good faith" with the rebels within the next six months.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail said the resolution was putting undue pressure on the authorities, hindering peace instead of promoting it.

The SPLA has been fighting the authorities to end what it considers as the domination of the Muslim north over the animist and Christian south.


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18 Oct 02 | Africa
02 Sep 02 | Business
18 Jun 02 | Business
22 Oct 02 | Business
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