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Sudanese VP to Oslo for donors conference

4/10/2005 5:37pm

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Apr 10, 2005 (PANA) -- A high-level delegation led by First Vice President Ali Osman Mohammed Taha left Khartoum Sunday for Oslo, Norway to attend a donor conference convened there for 11 and 12 April to discuss Sudan's post-war reconstruction.

Official sources told PANA here that the government and the separatist Sudan Peoples Liberation Army/Movement (SPLA/M) had jointly elaborated development projects for the south, following the return of peace there, saying these would over the next two years require some 7.8 billion dollars.

Khartoum and the SPLA/M signed a definitive peace accord last January in Nairobi, Kenya, ending 21 years of fighting in southern Sudan.

Some 60 delegates, including SPLA/M leader John Garang are billed to attend the Oslo conference. Also expected at the meeting are representatives from the World Bank, the European Union and the Arab League.

Of the nearly eight billion dollars needed for post-war reconstruction in the south, some 2.6 billion dollars would come from the international community, while the rest would be funded by revenue from Sudan's oil resources, according to a report compiled last month by representatives from the government and the SPLA/M.

In the build up to the Oslo conference, Khartoum had been on a diplomatic drive to rally the support of African and European countries for the peace process in Sudan.

At Oslo, Sudan would be seeking support for development projects as well as the repatriation of refugees.

The conference is expected to addressed by UN Secretary General Kofi Anan and many world leaders.

It would, however, be holding against the backdrop of mounting international pressure for Khartoum to resolve the crisis in the western Sudanese region of Darfur.

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