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AU, Sudan Exchange Views on Darfur Peace Process
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African Union (AU) special envoy and chief mediator for the Darfur peace talks, Salim Ahmed Salim, met in Addis Ababa with Sudanese Vice President Ali Ousman Mohammed Taha on Monday, according to a press release, issued from the AU headquarters on Tuesday.

Salim and Taha reviewed the outcome of the high-level consultations, which took place over the weekend in Nigeria's capital Abuja, at the initiative of Congolese President, also AU current chairman, Denis Sassou Nguesso, said the release.

It said they also exchanged views on the progress made in the ongoing negotiations and on how to overcome the outstanding issues in the peace process.

The Sudanese vice president assured the AU special envoy of his continued commitment to the peace process, and the preparedness of the Sudanese government to work with the parties in the negotiations to find a lasting solution to the conflict in Darfur, it added.

Clashes flared up in Darfur in February 2003 when local farmers took up arms against the Sudanese government, accusing it of neglecting the barren area. Thousands of people have been killed and more displaced in the violence.

Rounds of peace talks between the Sudanese government and Darfur rebels in Abuja have failed to yield fruits.

The AU currently has about 7,000 personnel, including peacekeepers and observers, in Darfur.

(Xinhua News Agency April 12, 2006)

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