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Southern Sudan Rebel Leader Urges Dialogue in Darfur

The leader of Sudan's main southern rebel group has called on the government to apply a recently signed north-south peace deal to the separate conflict in Sudan's western Darfur region.

John Garang said Saturday that the Darfur crisis can only be solved through dialogue. He spoke on the sidelines of a federalism conference in Brussels

Mr. Garang's Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) signed a peace agreement with the government in January. The deal gives the south greater autonomy and the opportunity to vote on secession in six years.

Mr. Garang said he is sending about 70 SPLA representatives to the capital, Khartoum, in the first phase of implementing the peace deal.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.