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Sudan reaches deal with Darfur rebels

Oct. 23, 2012 at 12:51 PM

DOHA, Qatar, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- A U.N. peacekeeping mission in Sudan announced the government in Khartoum agreed to peace talks with a rebel group operating in the restive Darfur region.

The U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur announced Khartoum and the rebel Justice and Equality Movement agreed to start talks during the upcoming religious holiday "to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the conflict."

The agreement was signed in Doha, where Qatari officials have helped mediation efforts regarding Darfur.

Despite the agreement with rebel factions in Darfur, the independent Sudan Tribune reports that Khartoum sent more than 5,600 troops to the streets ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Security forces, the report said, were called on to brace for "planned sabotage operations."

Last week, A South African member of UNAMID was killed when unknown gunmen ambushed a patrol in Darfur.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a statement issued through his spokesman, called on the government to conduct a full investigation into the attack to ensure those responsible were brought to justice.

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