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Sudanese Government, Eastern Rebels to Meet in Eritrea

Peace talks between the Sudanese government and rebels operating in the east are scheduled to be held in Eritrea next month.

Eritrean presidential spokesman Yemane Gebremeskel confirms the meeting, set for June 13 in the capital Asmara.

"These are talks between the government and the opposition and both sides have requested Eritrea to facilitate the talks and Eritrea is facilitating the talks," he said.

Reuters news agency reports that Sudanese Federal Minister Abdel Basit Sabderat and Mussa Mohamed Ahmed, leader of the Eastern Front, signed an agreement committing the two sides to the June talks that they say would promote peace, unity and stability in Sudan.

The Sudanese government and the Eastern Front group are to discuss ways of how to end a decade-long insurgency in eastern Sudan.

The Eastern Front is made up of rebel groups and the area's main political parties. They took up arms in the 1990s to protest what they say is political and economic marginalization of their area by Khartoum, and control the small Hamesh Koreb area near the border with Eritrea.

Relations have also been rocky between the Sudanese government and Eritrea. In the past, Sudan has accused Eritrea of supporting the eastern rebels, a charge the Eritrean government denies.