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DATE=7/19/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-251916 TITLE=SUDAN TALKS (L-ONLY) BYLINE=ALISHA RYU DATELINE=NAIROBI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: SUDAN'S MAIN REBEL GROUP SAYS IT IS EXTENDING A CEASE-FIRE IN SOUTHERN SUDAN, FOR HUMANITARIAN REASONS. THE ANNOUNCEMENT CAME AT THE START OF A NEW ROUND OF PEACE TALKS IN NAIROBI. V-O-A'S ALISHA RYU REPORTS THAT DONOR NATIONS ARE DEMANDING TO SEE MORE PROGRESS IN THE TALKS BETWEEN THE REBEL GROUP AND THE KHARTOUM GOVERNMENT. TEXT: THE SUDAN PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY [S-P-L-A] SAYS THE THREE-MONTH CEASE FIRE WILL COVER THE WHOLE OF BAHR-EL-GHAZAL REGION IN SOUTHWESTERN SUDAN AND UPPER NILE. THE S-P-L-A SAYS THESE AREAS -- HIT HARD BY THE ON-GOING CONFLICT AND NATURAL DISASTERS -- STILL NEED MUCH HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE. THE GROUP URGED THE KHARTOUM GOVERNMENT TO ALSO OBSERVE THE CEASE FIRE. BUT AS THE FIVE-DAY PEACE NEGOTIATIONS GOT UNDERWAY IN NAIROBI TODAY (MONDAY), THE EUROPEAN PARTNERS OF THE SPONSORS OF THE TALKS (-- A REGIONAL ALLIANCE KNOWN AS IGAD --) INDICATED WESTERN DONORS WERE GETTING IMPATIENT WITH THE PACE OF THE TALKS. THE ITALIAN AMBASSADOR TO KENYA -- ALBERTO BALBONI -- WARNED FURTHER HUMANITARIAN AID TO SUDAN COULD BE AT RISK IF THE TWO SIDES CONTINUE TO RESIST TAKING CONCRETE STEPS TOWARD PEACE. /// BALBONI ACT /// CURRENT LEVEL OF AID FLOW FROM THE DONOR COMMUNITY WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO MAINTAIN WITHOUT TANGIBLE PROGRESS IN THE NEGOTIATIONS. /// END ACT /// AN ESTIMATED TWO-MILLION PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED IN THE FIGHTING AND RESULTING FAMINES SINCE THE CIVIL WAR BEGAN IN 1983. RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS SAY RIGHT NOW, NEARLY A MILLION PEOPLE ARE FACING STARVATION IN BAHR-EL-GHAZAL ALONE. THE HEAD OF THE S-P-L-A DELEGATION -- SALVA KIIR -- TOLD REPORTERS HIS GROUP WOULD LIKE TO END THE FIGHTING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE IN ORDER TO HOLD A SOUTHERN SUDANESE REFERENDUM ON SECESSION OR UNITY WITH THE REST OF SUDAN. /// KIIR ACT /// IF THERE IS A CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES, IF ALL THESE THINGS ARE DONE AND PEOPLE GO FOR A REFERENDUM, EVERYBODY WOULD KNOW THE DIRECTION OF WHAT TO DO. /// END ACT /// BOTH SIDES HAVE AGREED TO AN INTERNATIONALLY-SUPERVISED VOTE ON SELF-DETERMINATION FOR THE SOUTH, BUT SO FAR, THEY REMAIN DIVIDED OVER WHAT AREA THAT INCLUDES. SINCE LAST SUMMER, THE TWO SIDES HAVE COMMITTED TO SEVERAL CONSECUTIVE CEASE-FIRES TO HELP FOOD AID REACH FAMINE AREAS, BUT THEY HAVE NOT ALL GONE SMOOTHLY. THE CURRENT ROUND OF TALKS WAS ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 20TH BUT IT WAS POSTPONED WHEN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ACCUSED S-P-L-A OF VIOLATING THE PREVIOUS CEASE-FIRE AGREEMENT. (SIGNED) NEB/AR/GE/WTW 19-Jul-99 11:47 AM EDT (1547 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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