Sudan's Bashir issues Darfur talks ultimatum

A rebel coalition negotiating in Doha, the Liberation and Justice Movement said it did not expect any agreement to be signed on Thursday.

Sudan's Bashir issues Darfur talks ultimatum

Sudan will withdraw from Darfur peace talks in Doha and organise its own negotiations if no accord with the rebels is reached imminently, President Omar al-Bashir said on Wednesday.

"If we reach an agreement tomorrow, praise be to God. But if there is no agreement, we will withdraw our negotiating team and the talks will then be held in Darfur," Bashir told thousands of supporters in Nyala.

"We will fight those who choose to take up arms, but we will sit next to those who want development," he added in a speech broadcast live on state television from the South Darfur capital.

Sudanese officials had earlier set December 31 as the deadline for a Darfur peace accord, with a referendum on the south's fate, now just 11 days away, due to dominate the Khartoum government's agenda next month.

Bashir's special adviser on Darfur, Ghazi Salaheddine, was expected in the Qatari capital on Wednesday to push the talks, according to Sudan's official SUNA news agency.

A rebel coalition negotiating in Doha, the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM), said it did not expect any agreement to be signed on Thursday.

"It is not up to Bashir to decide whether talks move, it is up to the mediation. Let him take his delegation away; the problem of Darfur will remain," said Haydar Ateem, deputy chairman of LJM coalition.


Agencies

Last Mod: 30 Aralık 2010, 11:23
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