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Sudan recalls Darfur peace negotiators

G.Bissau bars military leaders from leaving
Bissau (AFP) Dec 30, 2010 - Two Guinea-Bissau military leaders suspected of involvement in the killing of the former president will not be allowed to leave the country while investigations continue, a military official said Thursday. Admiral Jose Zamora Induta, the former military chief, and former intelligence head Colonel Samba Djalo have been ordered to stay in the country following their release from prison last week, a source close to the military tribunal told AFP. The two men, detained since April, were released along with five officers held following a March 2009 bomb attack that killed the then armed forces chief, General Batista Tagme Na Wai.

Wai's assassination led to a revenge attack in which Guinea-Bissau's president Bernardo Joao Vieira died. Induta's release came days after the European Commission in Brussels threatened to suspend some development aid as it called for "the end of illegal detentions and impunity" in Guinea-Bissau. The EU has budgeted for some 120 million euros (157 million dollars) in aid for Bissau to 2013. Guinea-Bissau has been plagued by coups since independence from Portugal in 1974 and instability has attracted South American drug cartels that use the country as a transit point to Europe.
by Staff Writers
Doha (AFP) Dec 30, 2010
Sudan is recalling its delegation to peace talks in Qatar, but that does not mean it is withdrawing from negotiations for a settlement in Darfur, a Sudanese official said on Thursday.

"We have just informed our mediators that our delegation will be departing on Friday," said Ghazi Salaheddine, the Sudanese government's special adviser on Darfur.

"The delegation will leave because it has nothing to do, but that does not mean we withdrew from the peace process, and the mediators have promised us a document" on a possible agreement in Darfur, he told a news conference.

He said that the Sudanese government was ready to examine the document, even without the delegation being present in Doha.

President Omar al-Bashir said on Wednesday that Sudan would withdraw from the Darfur peace talks and organise its own negotiations if no accord with the rebels was reached imminently.

"If we reach an agreement tomorrow, praise be to God. But if there is no agreement, we will withdraw our negotiating team and the talks will then be held in Darfur," Bashir told thousands of supporters in Nyala.

The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), the most heavily armed Darfur rebel group, slammed Bashir's speech, calling it "a declaration of war."

"We condemn Bashir's speech today and we consider it a declaration of a new war," JEM spokesman Ahmed Hussein Adam said after Bashir's speech.

The Khartoum government has for months been trying to secure a comprehensive peace agreement with all Darfur rebel groups, to no avail.

Earlier in December, the JEM resumed talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire.

The Liberty and Justice Movement (LJM), an alliance of rebel splinter factions, was expected to finalise a peace deal with Khartoum in mid-December after agreeing a ceasefire in March, but the accord was never signed.

Darfur has been gripped by a civil war since 2003 that has killed 300,000 people and displaced another 2.7 million, according to UN figures. Khartoum says 10,000 people have died in the conflict.

earlier related report
Ghana will not send troops to I.Coast: defence minister
Accra (AFP) Dec 30, 2010 - Ghana will not send troops to Ivory Coast under a west African regional plan to force Laurent Gbagbo out if he does not step down peacefully, defence minister said Thursday.

Lieutenant General Joseph Henry Smith said Ghana, an immediate neighbour to Ivory Coast, had overstretched its military capacity with deployments elsewhere in the world.

His comments came a day after ECOWAS military chiefs met to map out the logistics of an intervention in the event that Gbagbo remains defiant in the face of pressure for him to hand over power to his rival Alassane Ouattara.

"We are already over-stretched because we have contributed to UN peace keeping forces in Lebanon, (Democratic Republic of) Congo and Cote d'Ivoire itself and as such it won't be possible to send any troops to our neighbours again," he told AFP.

The Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) bloc has voted to authorise military intervention if Gbagbo refuses to step aside for Ouattara.

A delegation of three West African presidents went to Abidjan on Tuesday to deliver an ultimatum, but left without a clear outcome, and has since said they are still pressing for a peaceful solution.

They are due to return to Abidjan on Monday for more talks and military action appears to have been put on the back burner for now.

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Violence surges in Casamance as peace process stays blocked
Ziguinchor, Senegal (AFP) Dec 30, 2010
Violence flared again in Senegal's troubled south as seven soldiers were killed this week, prompting criticism over a stalled peace process in the three decade-long separatist rebellion. The losses, in an ambush on Senegalese troops by suspected separatist rebels, were the heaviest since six soldiers were killed in October 2009 in the sporadic clashes that characterise one of Africa's longes ... read more

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