'Open question' if Sudan peace talks will go on: ICRC chief

19th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

The head of the international Red Cross said Wednesday it was an "open question" whether Sudan peace talks would be revived after the Sudanese army attacked a key Darfur rebel stronghold over the weekend.

"For me now it's an open question... to what extent we will see again some increase of military activity, fighting or if the Doha peace talks will even continue," Jakob Kellenberger told reporters in Geneva.

"For me there is now a certain degree of uncertainty," he added.

Khartoum and the Justice and Equality Movement have suspended peace talks after the rebel group accused Sudan's military of attacking its positions last month.

Ahead of Saturday's attack by the army, rebels said they were leaning towards quitting peace negotiations in Qatar, saying that the government had "reneged on the ceasefire agreement."

The two sides agreed in February to a ceasefire but a deadline to formalise a peace treaty expired in March.

According to the United Nations, 300,000 people have died and more than 2.2 million have fled their homes since rebels in Darfur rose up in February 2003 against the Khartoum government, which was aided by local Arab militias.

Khartoum however, estimates that 10,000 have died.

© 2010 AFP

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