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Sudan, Southern Rebels Push for Peace Through Christmas

The Sudanese government and the main southern rebel group say they are continuing peace talks through Christmas to try to fulfill a promise to reach a final deal before the end of the year.

The two sides have promised the United Nations Security Council they will sign an agreement by December 31st to formally end 21 years of civil war.

However, a Sudanese presidential political adviser Qutbi al-Mahdi is quoted by the official Sudan Media Center Saturday as saying a final deal will not be signed until January 10.

The Sudanese government and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army have already signed several key accords at peace talks in Kenya, including power-sharing and security deals.

The southern conflict is separate from the one in Sudan's western Darfur region, where rebels took up arms last year.

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