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Darfur rebels deny resuming Doha talks with Khartoum
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May 14, 2010 - 7:57:24 AM

Darfur rebels deny resuming Doha talks with Khartoum

KHARTOUM A Darfur rebel group that suspended peace talks with Khartoum after alleged armed clashes denied on Friday a UN mediator's claim that it would resume the Qatari-brokered negotiations.

Ahmad Hussein Adam, a spokesman with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said his group was leaning towards quitting the negotiations altogether.

"We are still suspending our participation in the negotiations, and we are closer to withdrawing from the negotiations in Qatar," he told AFP.

The United Nations and African Union mediator Djibril Bassole said on Thursday that JEM and Sudan's government would resume talks.

"The international mediator Djibril Bassole's talk on setting a date for the resumption of the Doha negotiations concerns him only and is not supported by the reality on the ground," Adam said.

"We are in a true state of war after the government reneged on the ceasefire agreement," he said.

JEM accused Sudan's military of attacking its positions last month, saying Khartoum was trying to impose a "military solution" to the seven-year old conflict, which the United Nations estimates has killed 300,000 people.

Khartoum, which says 10,000 people died since ethnic rebels took up arms in 2003, denied the offensive.

The two sides had agreed in February to a ceasefire and a deadline to reach a treaty which expired in March.

In a further sign that peace efforts were deteriorating, Khartoum last week sought Interpol's help in arresting JEM leader Khalil Ibrahim over a 2008 attack near Khartoum that killed 220 people.

Sudan has sentenced more than 100 JEM rebels to death over the attack but cancelled the executions after the February accord.

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