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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement


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Press Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman
May 18, 2000

Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) Suspends
Participation in Peace Talks

We are deeply concerned that the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) has decided to suspend its participation in the peace talks, held under the sponsorship of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The SPLM cited the Government of Sudan's bombing compaign as the reason for this decision.

We share the SPLM's outrage at the Government of Sudan's continued bombardment of civilian targets. Nevertheless, it is crucial that the SPLM continue to participate constructively in the IGAD process. The IGAD process is focused on achieving a just, lasting peace settlement, which brings an end to the government's bombing and other serious human rights violations that stem from the ongoing conflict. We urge the SPLM to reconsider its decision and to engage actively and constructively in the IGAD process.

Meanwhile, we again insist that the Government of Sudan cease completely its aerial bombardment campaign, which terrorizes civilian populations but has little military value.

[end of document]

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