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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sudan Considers Darfur Plan

ABUJA, Nigeria -- Sudan appears ready to agree to disarm the Janjaweed faster and accept more rebels into its security forces, concessions that meet rebels' demands at the Darfur peace talks, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

Sudanese government spokesman Abdulrahman Zuma said the concessions, including speedier disarmament of the Janjaweed militia it is accused of unleashing on Darfur civilians, were part of U.S.-initiated changes to a draft peace treaty the rebels had rejected. The government had accepted the initial draft, but now appears ready to accept changes to it.

"Through this so-called American initiative, it seems that the government is going to make some concessions, especially about reintegration and disarmament," Zuma said.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick flew to Abuja, the Nigerian capital where the talks are being held, to try to break the deadlock over an African Union-drafted peace proposal. Two Sudanese close to the negotiations said earlier Wednesday they had seen a recast proposal and that it made substantial changes to the initial AU draft.

Denis Sassou-Nguesso, the Republic of Congo's president and current head of the 53-nation African Union, and other African leaders were expected in Nigeria later Wednesday to add to the push for a solution to a crisis that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.