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Last Updated: Friday, 2 January, 2004, 10:07 GMT
New Sudan talks follow deadline
Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Taha (L) and rebel leader John Garang (R) shake hands
Some key issues have been resolved but others remain
Peace talks aimed at ending 20 years of war between the Sudan Government and southern rebels have resumed in Kenya.

The United States had put both sides under strong pressure to reach a deal by 31 December 2003.

But they are unable to agree on the status of three states and how to share political and civil service jobs in a new power-sharing administration.

The war, pitting the Christian and animist south against the mainly Muslim north, has left some two million people dead.


Rebel leader John Garang and vice president Osman Ali Taha are continued their talks in the Kenyan resort town of Naivasha after breaking for the New Year's holiday.

On Monday, President Omar al-Bashir said a deal would be reached "within a week".

The status of three regions
Power sharing
Chief mediator, retired Kenyan army general Lazaro Sumbeiywo, refused to specify a new deadline, telling the AFP news agency: "This is an open meeting, it will end when the two principals decide."

The government and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) last month reached an agreement to share oil resources, which had been one of the key issues.

They have also agreed to set up a joint army.

Under a previous agreement, the south will be autonomous for six years, after which a referendum will be held on whether it should become independent.

But the talks are bogged down on whether the states of Abyei, Nuba mountains and the Southern Blue Nile should form part of the south or the north.

A government delegate told the BBC that this issue "was proving to be a nightmare".

The two parties are yet to begin negotiations on power sharing, yet another key issue before the comprehensive deal can be signed.

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