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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 November, 2004, 22:43 GMT
UN urges swift end to Sudan wars
Suspected pro-government troops
Pro-government militias are said to be still active in Darfur
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says there is "no time to waste" in ending the civil war in southern Sudan.

A peace deal there would also help resolve the crisis in the western Sudanese province of Darfur, he added.

He was addressing a special meeting of the Security Council in Nairobi - the fourth ever to be held away from UN headquarters in New York.

Mr Annan issued "the strongest warning" to both sides in the Darfur conflict, accusing them of violating the truce.

BBC UN correspondent Susannah Price says members chose Nairobi as a venue to focus international attention on Sudan's peace process.

During the meeting, the council agreed on the text of a resolution aimed at bringing peace to Sudan.

The Security Council president, US ambassador John Danforth, said all 15 members now supported the text, which would be formally adopted on Friday.

The new resolution was "good" and "balanced", he said.

"It is one that clearly recognises the tragedy of Darfur and the fact that we have already passed two resolutions on this subject, and takes the situation of Darfur seriously," he said.

Elusive peace

For the past two years the government and the southern rebels have held talks in Kenya, aimed at ending their 21-year civil war.

An Arab-looking man, in a uniform with military insignia, stopped his car next to me. He grabbed my son from me and threw him into a fire
Kalima, Kidinyir villager

A ceasefire is currently in force.

Both southern rebel leader John Garang and Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha reaffirmed in Nairobi that they were committed to a settlement.

A few months ago, the two sides agreed to share power and oil resources. But a final deal is yet to be signed.

Since then both the international community and Khartoum have turned their attention to the crisis in Darfur.

Darfur pressure

The civil war there broke out in early 2003, when rebel groups began attacking government targets saying the government had neglected the region.

UN security council meeting in Nairobi
2004: Nairobi, Kenya
1990: Geneva, Switzerland
1973: Panama City
1972: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

In response Khartoum mobilised Arab "self-defence militias", which are accused of carrying out atrocities against local black Africans.

Mr Annan told Security Council members on Thursday that the "speedy conclusion of the north-south talks" would serve as "a basis and a catalyst" for the resolution of the Darfur conflict.

The resolution expected to be passed on Friday promises international aid and support once a peace deal is reached.

Our correspondent says the Security Council wants to secure a unanimously-agreed resolution to ensure it sends the strongest possible signal to all parties involved in conflicts in Sudan.

It has already passed two resolutions threatening to impose sanctions on Sudan's government if it does not disarm the militias in Darfur.

But aid agencies and human rights groups say they have failed to calm the violence.

What the council will discuss

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