Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Darfur update

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir ruled out on Wednesday the possibility of
holding peace talks with the head of the Darfur rebel group that staged a daring
assault close to the capital that killed more than 200 people last weekend.
Why can't we all just get along?
The UN and African Union have tried for months to open new peace talks between
Sudan and Darfur rebel groups after a previous peace agreement failed to stem
the violence. But most rebel chiefs, including Justice and Equality Movement
(JEM) leader Khalil Ibrahim, have boycotted the initiative and security has
further deteriorated. JEM stunned the Sudanese government with Saturday's
attack on the city of Omdurman, located next to the capital Khartoum. Ibrahim is
still believed to be hiding there, and told AP by telephone Monday that his
fighters would keep up their offensive. They accused the Khartoum regime of
stonewalling the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force that would try to
establish security before peace talks. At a rally orchestrated by the government
Wednesday in Khartoum, al-Bashir called Ibrahim "an agent...Who sold himself to
the devil and to Zionism.” "We are for peace and a peaceful solution, but there
is no room for Khalil or agents like Khalil, who sold his cause, his people, his
tribe and his region," Al-Bashir told thousands of supporters waving flags and
chanting pro-government slogans. He also accused Ibrahim of receiving
money from Israel to topple Sudan's government.

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