Sudan's chief negotiator for Darfur dies in accident

KHARTOUM, Jun 27, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX)

Chief negotiator of the Sudanese government for the Darfur issue Majzoub al-Khalifa died in a car accident in northern Sudan early Wednesday morning.

"He died in a car accident on his way from Khartoum to Shendi around 4:30 a.m. (0130 GMT)," a Sudanese official source said.

"He and his brother were killed and other members of his family were injured in the accident," the source added.

Al-Khalifa will be buried in his home town of Taybat al-Khawad in northern Sudan.

Appointed as a presidential adviser after the present Sudanese Government of National United was formed in 2005, al-Khalifa had been the minister of agriculture and forestry in the former government of Salvation established by the National Congress party.

Al-Khalifa was also head of the government team for the peace negotiations with rebels in the western Sudanese region of Darfur.

Until now, only one of the main rebel groups in Darfur has signed a peace agreement with the Sudanese government, and international mediators hope that the Darfur peace negotiations will resume in August.