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Sudan Ready to Participate in New Talks Aimed at Restoring Peace - 2004-08-13

Sudan's government says it is ready to take part in new talks aimed at restoring peace in the war-torn Darfur region.

Sudanese officials say they will accept an invitation to attend the talks sponsored by the African Union and scheduled to start August 23 in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

Two Sudanese rebel groups have indicated a willingness to participate, but reports suggest they have expressed doubts about the date of the meeting.

Both Sudan and the rebels have been under increasing international pressure to end the fighting, which the United Nations says has created the world's worst humanitarian disaster.

Reports from the region say violence continues, despite a U.N. Security Council resolution demanding Sudan end government-sponsored attacks against Darfur's black civilian population.