Sudan says open to talks in oil state conflict

July 26, 2011 21:42


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KHARTOUM - Sudan said on Tuesday it was ready to negotiate an end to fighting in its main oil state of South Kordofan but accused armed groups there of trying to prolong the violence by teaming up with rebels in neighboring Darfur.

Tens of thousands of civilians have fled since clashes flared in June between Sudan's army and fighters, many of them from South Kordofan's ethnic Nuba group.

The United Nations has said Sudan has caused "huge suffering" among civilians by bombing the remote territory, a charge rejected by the army.

"The war is not the will of the people of South Kordofan ... The doors for dialogue and peace are wide open," state governor Ahmed Haroun told reporters in Khartoum.

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