Darfur Peace Talks Halted

A weekend conference in Libya intended to bring peace to Sudan's troubled Darfur region was hobbled, in part, by the absence of key black rebel groups who are considered essential to any lasting agreement. What their absence portends has become a main topic of the discussions.

The United Nations has called Darfur the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. For years there have been images of Muslim on Muslim violence. But in recent weeks, black rebel groups and the Sudanese government have killed civilians and peacekeepers in the region.

Rebel groups in Darfur are splintering so fast, according to one leader, that there may soon be too many to bargain with.

Sudan Peace Talks Convene in Libya

This weekend, Libya opened peace talks aimed at ending conflict in Sudan's Darfur region. The Sudanese government announced an immediate cease-fire Saturday, but prospects for a settlement are clouded.

Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese civilians have been killed in the fighting in Darfur, with millions more displaced. The fighting is largely split along ethnic lines. It involves the Sudanese army, its Arab militia allies and various black African groups.

The Sudanese government quickly proclaimed the unilateral cease-fire at Saturday's talks — something it has done before. But two of Darfur's main rebel groups are boycotting the conference, and that casts doubt on prospects for success.

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