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Monday, June 14, 1999 Published at 20:38 GMT 21:38 UK

World: Africa

Sudan opposition pledge to fight on

Southern rebels: Fighting with northern allies against the government

The Sudanese opposition coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), has ended a meeting in the Eritrean capital, Asmara, promising that the fight against the government in Khartoum would continue.

But a spokesman for the southern-based rebel group, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), said that efforts to find a peaceful settlement would also go on.

[ image: Sadiq al-Mahdi: Exiled former Prime Minister]
Sadiq al-Mahdi: Exiled former Prime Minister
The SPLA is part of the NDA umbrella organisation, though there have been reports of policy divisions between the coalition's leaders.

The NDA also includes the Umma Party - whose leader, Sadiq al-Mahdi, is in exile - and the Democratic Unionist Party.

The rebel spokesman insisted that the government of General Omar al-Bashir must recognize the National Democratic Alliance, allow the formation of political parties and un-ban trades unions if it wanted to start a real dialogue.

Sudan has criticised the Eritrean Government for allowing the conference to go ahead.

Eritrea and Sudan have recently agreed to work towards normalising relations.

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