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UN, AU Envoys Say Chad-Sudan Relations Holding Up Darfur Peace Deal


United Nations and African Union envoys say hostilities between Chad and Sudan are standing in the way of a potential peace deal in Darfur.

Speaking to reporters in Khartoum Tuesday, U.N. envoy Jan Eliasson said it is impossible to separate violence between the two countries from the violence in Darfur.

He said unless relations between Chad and Sudan improve, there is little chance for what he called a "credible political process" in the war-torn region.

Chad and Sudan have continually accused each other of supporting rebel attacks on each other's government, despite signing six peace accords in recent years.

Eliasson and AU envoy Salim Ahmed Salim say the short term goal is to set up a forum for regional security talks. Salim says that so far, no date for those talks has been set.

Fighting in Darfur pitting rebels against the Sudanese government and pro-government "Janjaweed" militias has claimed the lives of some 200,000 people.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said earlier this month that continued fighting is forcing about 1,000 civilians to flee their homes in Darfur each day. The U.N. estimates that some 2.5 million people have been displaced since the fighting began in 2003.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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