New York Times
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Talks between the Sudanese government and two rebels groups from the Darfur region began here in the Ethiopian capital on Sunday.
“We will be meeting over the next few days to look at what needs to be done with regard to the conflict in Darfur,” said former President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, who is serving as the African Union’s chief mediator during the talks.
The conflict in Darfur, a region in western Sudan, started in 2003, when rebels there accused the central government in Khartoum of discrimination, negligence and marginalization.
The United Nations estimates that the conflict has killed as many as 300,000 people and displaced two million. About 385,000 people have been displaced there since the start of this year, according to the United Nations.
Representatives of two rebels groups, the Justice and Equality Movement and the Minnawi faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement, joined the talks on Sunday. A third group, the Nour faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement, refused to attend the negotiations. Allies of the rebels, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North and the National Umma Party, were in attendance, as well.
A fourth group, the Liberation and Justice Movement, signed a peace agreement with the Sudanese government in 2011, an agreement rejected by the other Darfur rebel groups.