SUDAN WATCH: Mediators have started the grim task of planning for defeat

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Mediators have started the grim task of planning for defeat

Canadian Press report May 3, 2006 excerpt:
A Canadian government source close to the talks said the American and British delegations are now effectively steering the talks and have "streamlined'' the negotiations.

They included only a handful of advisers from Canada and the African Union, leaving representatives from various European and African nations on the outside.

"The U.K. and U.S. decided working with the large community of nations was too cumbersome at this stage and the African Union approach had been exhausted,'' said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "If this (new) strategy succeeds, it could break the logjam.''

The current U.S.-British strategy is to split up the rebel concerns between them, and come up with amendments to the peace deal the rebels might accept. They've seen progress on the issue of security, but are still stuck on power-sharing within the Sudanese government.

And so, negotiators have started the grim task of planning for defeat, the senior source said.

That Plan B would include a ceasefire, safe access to the country for humanitarian workers, and protection for camps of displaced persons.

"If they don't agree, the results will be nothing short of catastrophic,'' said the Canadian source.


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