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Friday, July 23, 1999 Published at 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK

World: Africa

Sudan ceasefire ends

The SPLA has waged a 16-year war

The Sudanese Government has announced it will not renew a limited humanitarian ceasefire in its war against rebels of the Sudan People's Liberation Army.

The announcement came at the end of peace talks in Nairobi, where the SPLA had earlier called for the renewal of the year-old ceasefire.

[ image: The ceasefire applied only to Bahr al Ghazal]
The ceasefire applied only to Bahr al Ghazal
The ceasefire, limited to the south-western Bahr al Ghazal province, was declared a year ago to allow humanitarian aid into the area.

Since then, the partial ceasefire has been renewed every three months at the agreement of both parties.

Humanitarian agencies working in the south have warned of hundreds of thousands of people at risk if ceasefires are not renewed.

Call for comprehensive ceasefire

Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said on Friday that his government wanted "a comprehensive ceasefire to create a conducive atmosphere for the peace talks and smooth flow of relief supplies to the war affected areas".

He said that extending the partial ceasefire would only "intensify the fighting in other areas".

But rebels rejected the idea of a comprehensive ceasefire.

"A comprehensive ceasefire can only come after agreeing on the contentious issues," spokesman Samson Kwaje told a news conference.

The peace talks between the government and SPLA rebels had been going well.

Both sides had agreed to the creation of a secretariat to oversee continued discussions, and the appointment of a special envoy by President Moi of Kenya.

Rebel sources said Khartoum had agreed to self-determination for southern Sudan, but there were differences on its geographical definition, and on the relationship between religion and the state.

The rebels reject Islamic law as the basis of Sudan's legal code.

The SPLA, based in Sudan's mainly Christian and Animist south, has waged a 16-year war against the Muslim-dominated Khartoum government.

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