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State Dept. Praises Sudan Accord

Country: Sudan

Region: Africa

Source: Associated Press

Clipping Date: 07/22/2002

Clipping Author: GEORGE GEDDA

Headline: State Dept. Praises Sudan Accord

Clipping Text:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The signing of an interim peace agreement between the government of Sudan and rebels is a ``significant step in moving toward a just and lasting peace,'' the State Department said Monday.

Spokesman Richard Boucher said the measure ``is a strong indication that the parties are both willing and capable of reaching a negotiated settlement to Sudan's civil war.''

The agreement, signed Saturday in Kenya, was believed to have resolved the major issues in the 19-year war and established a framework for talks next month to draft a final peace deal.

The conflict between the Sudanese Army and rebels from the Sudanese People's Liberation Army has killed more than 2 million people since 1983.

The talks are being held under the auspices of a group of regional countries with support from the United States, Norway, Britain and Switzerland.

During what Boucher called a pre-interim period, he said the parties will cease hostilities and establish the institutions and mechanisms called for in the agreement, including those to monitor the truce.

The interim period that begins after the six-month pre-interim period would last six years. During that period, an independent assessment and evaluation commission would monitor implementation.

07/22/02 20:10 EDT

Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.