Sudan

Sudan's eastern rebels name government nominees

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By Jack Kimball

ASMARA, May 16 (Reuters) - Sudan's eastern rebels have submitted a list of candidates for government posts after a meeting with Khartoum officials to push forward a delayed peace deal for the region, the rebels said on Wednesday.

The failure by the Eastern Front rebels to agree a list had hampered efforts to implement the agreement, which was mediated last year by Eritrea and ended a decade of low-level conflict.

"We submitted all our nominations for the government posts," Amna Dirar, an Eastern Front vice-president, told Reuters by telephone following talks with Sudanese government officials on Monday and Tuesday in the Eritrean capital Asmara.

A power-sharing clause in last year's peace deal gave the rebels three senior positions: a junior minister in Khartoum, and an assistant and an advisor to President Omar al-Bashir.

Amna said the Eastern Front president, Musa Mohammed Ahmed, another vice-president, Mobruk Mubarak Salim, and herself had been nominated for the top jobs. Bashir must approve the list.

Under the agreement, the rebel movement also gets eight parliamentary seats in Khartoum and 10 seats in each of Sudan's three eastern states, among other posts.

The Front comprises non-Arab Beja and pure Arab Rashaidiya tribesmen who took up arms complaining Khartoum was exploiting their natural resources without developing their homeland.

Sudan's east hosts its biggest gold mine, diamond deposits and the only port, Port Sudan, where its main oil pipelines feed export markets. It is also a deeply impoverished region.

Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation
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