Possible Darfur deal brings new hope (CNN, 5/05/06)

Sudan’s strife-torn Darfur region appears to be near a peace deal to end three years of violence that has exacerbated what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, officials said Friday.

The main rebel group has tentatively agreed to a peace deal with the government during talks in Abuja, Nigeria, according to a U.S. diplomat advising the talks.

The United Nations says 180,000 people have died from illness and malnutrition since rebels began attacking in February of 2003, and some 2 million have been forced from their homes.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, who’s attending the talks, told The Associated Press on Friday that participation by Minni Minnawi, who leads the largest rebel group, has been key.

Actually, only participation by the U.S. matters.

Sudan, Main Rebel Group Sign Peace Deal (Glenn Kessler and Emily Wax, May 5, 2006, Washington Post)

The government of Sudan and the biggest Darfur rebel faction signed a peace deal today, declaring an end to three years of bloody conflict that has left tens of thousands of people dead and 2 million homeless. […]

Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick, who has spent three days and nights shuttling between the parties in talks held in Abuja, announced the accord.

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