"The war in Sudan, Africa's largest country, has pitted Christian and animist rebels in the south against the Muslim and Arabized north."
S.Africa hopes to host Sudanese talks "very soon"
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Reuter) - South African President Nelson Mandela said Tuesday he planned to host peace talks between Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and the leader of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army ``very soon.''
Mandela, whose peacemaking efforts range from Africa to Northern Ireland and East Timor, made the remark to reporters after meeting Thai Foreign Minister Prachuab Chaiyasarn in Cape Town.
``I have been in touch with the relevant leaders on this matter and it is likely that I will very soon be hosting both (SPLA leader) John Garang, Bashir and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni,'' Mandela said, without elaborating.
Museveni is a member of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a group of African countries working on an initiative to end the 14-year civil war in Sudan.
Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Osman Mohammad Taha said at the weekend that planned peace talks with the SPLA, arranged by IGAD and due to have started Tuesday in Nairobi, Kenya, had been postponed.
The war in Sudan, Africa's largest country, has pitted Christian and animist rebels in the south against the Muslim and Arabized north. The rebels want either greater autonomy or independence from the north.
Bashir visited South Africa last week for talks with Mandela. The Sudanese leader called for a cease-fire in the war with the SPLA.