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Sudanese Rebels Refuse to Sign Peace Accord


African Union mediators who are brokering peace talks among warring parties in Sudan's Darfur region have extended by 48 hours a deadline on negotiations.

The initial deadline expired at midnight Sunday, but the lead mediator for the AU, Salim Ahmed Salim said early Monday the deadline was extended following a request from the United States.

The government of Sudan had said it was prepared to sign the peace agreement which was the result of two years of talks. But rebel groups said on Sunday they would not sign and insisted on changes.

The rebels said they wanted better terms for integrating their forces into the Sudanese army, and for disarming pro-government Janjaweed militias.

Three years of violence in Darfur between government-backed forces and Darfur rebels have left tens of thousands of people dead and more than two million displaced.

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

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