Representatives of Sudan's government and southern rebels will sign a permanent cease-fire and endorse a detailed plan for implementing an agreement to end a 21-year-old civil...
NAIROBI, Kenya — Representatives of Sudan’s government and southern rebels will sign a permanent cease-fire and endorse a detailed plan for implementing an agreement to end a 21-year-old civil war, the Kenyan foreign ministry said yesterday.
The warring sides are to sign the deals today, resolving procedural issues that have prevented them from concluding a comprehensive peace accord, said the ministry’s Peter Ole Nkuraiya, whose government has been involved in the peace talks.
Negotiators, however, were still haggling over key aspects of the deals, he said.
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“We are still working on the final details. There is a lot of progress that has been made — very, very positive,” Nkuraiya said. “But … you can say that between 98 and 99 percent of the issues have been resolved.”
The Sudanese government and the southern insurgents are to sign a final peace deal Jan. 9 in Nairobi, said Yasir Arman, spokesman of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army.
Sudanese government and rebel officials are trying to overcome differences over funding for a separate army that rebels plan to maintain in southern Sudan as a security guarantee during a six-year transition to power sharing, said an official familiar with the talks. The rebels want the government to finance the force, but Sudanese officials are refusing.
The two sides also are negotiating details of international guarantees for the transition, the official said.
The war has pitted Sudan’s Islamic-dominated government against rebels in the Christian and animist south who want more autonomy and a greater share of the country’s wealth. The conflict is blamed for more than 2 million deaths, primarily from war-caused famine and disease.
U.N. and U.S. officials hope bringing peace to the south will spur an end to an unrelated conflict in Sudan’s Darfur region.
Disease and hunger have killed 70,000 people in Darfur since March, the World Health Organization says. Nearly 2 million are believed to have fled their homes since the start of the crisis.