John Kerry: Darfur integral to better US-Sudan ties

KHARTOUM, Sudan  — US Sen. John Kerry said Friday Sudan's northern government will win quick US incentives if an independence referendum in the south goes smoothly, but further improvement of ties depends on progress toward peace in the separate conflict in Darfur.
Kerry, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, is in Sudan ahead of the critical referendum on independence for southern Sudan. The vote is a key element of a 2005 peace agreement that ended the 21-year civil war between the Arab-dominated north and the mainly Christian, animist south. Some 2 million people were killed in the conflict.