JEM rebels to meet with govt

2010-10-24 21:26

Khartoum - A large Darfur rebel group that withdrew from peace talks with Sudan's government said on Sunday it would send a delegation to Qatar to discuss its demands for resuming negotiations.

Ahmed Hussein, a spokesperson for the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), told AFP that a small delegation would travel to Qatar, which hosted the earlier talks, next week to "consult with intermediaries about reforming the process".

He said JEM wanted clarification of the mediators' role and the uniting of smaller rebel groups in talks with Khartoum.

"There will only be talks under the framework of united factions," Hussein said, adding that the group would also discuss allowing the return of its exiled leader Khalil Ibrahim, who is in Libya.

JEM signed a framework accord with Khartoum in February in Doha, but the talks foundered and a deadline set under the accord for completing the peace deal passed on March 15 without agreement.

Dozens have been killed in clashes between JEM fighters and the military since the talks broke down.

Darfur, an arid desert region the size of France, has been gripped by a civil war since 2003 that has killed 300 000 people and displaced another 2.7 million, according to UN figures.

Khartoum says 10 000 people have died.