Sudan-rebel peace talks adjourn with little progress

Report
from Agence France-Presse
Published on 18 Feb 2014

02/18/2014 16:19 GMT

ADDIS ABABA, February 18, 2014 (AFP) - Peace talks between Sudan and South Kordofan rebels adjourned Tuesday until the end of the month, after failing to progress on key issues since negotiations kicked off last week.

"We should adjourn this present session of the negotiations to give the possibility to the parties to have consultations with their principles," said Thabo Mbeki, chief mediator of the African Union-led talks.

The talks between Khartoum and rebels are aimed at ending three years of fighting in Blue Nile and Kordofan that has affected over one million people.

Mbeki said the teams would consult on "proposals" from the mediation team, but did not elaborate.

"We should then reconvene in about 10 days," he added, speaking in an upscale hotel in Addis Ababa where the talks kicked off on February 12.

The two sides failed to meet face-to-face in the latest round of talks -- the first in nearly a year -- and instead traded accusations, dampening the mood of the negotiations.

On Monday, the head of the rebel team told AFP the talks were at a "deadlock" and blamed Khartoum of wanting to continue the fighting.

But the government denied they were at loggerheads and instead vowed to press ahead with the peace process.

The government has insisted the talks should focus on security, political and humanitarian aspects as one package, while the rebels have said humanitarian issues should be addressed first.

The United Nations has called for an urgent ceasefire and has called on both side to allow for critical humanitarian access.

Talks are expected to resume on February 28.

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