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Nations Discuss Sudan’s Civil War

March 11, 1999

OSLO, Norway (AP) _ Twenty nations that provide aid to Sudan on Wednesday urged the factions in its 15-year civil war to make peace or risk a reduction in funding.

``That is more of a prediction than a warning,″ said Norwegian Minister of Development Aid Hilde Frafjord Johnson at the end of the one-day meeting in Oslo. ``There are already symptoms of donor fatigue.″

About 50 delegates from the United States, the European Union and UN agencies, gathered in the Norwegian capital to discuss ways of the Sudan peace process forward.

``Negotiations are moving much too slowly, but in the past four or five months the parties on both sides have shown a much greater will to talk,″ said Johnson, current co-chairman of the Sudan donor countries group.

More than 1.9 million people have died in the war, many of them in famines caused by the fighting. The SPLA rebels in southern Sudan are fighting for autonomy for their region, where the predominantly Christian and animist population complains of discrimination by the Arab Islamic government in the north.

The delegates appealed to rebels and the government in Sudan to adopt a comprehensive ceasefire at peace talks scheduled for April 20-25 in Nairobi, Kenya.

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