Sudan President Omar al-Bashir today announced a unilateral cease-fire by government forces in the war-torn Darfur region and called for rebels to join in peace negotiations.
The move was a new push by the Khartoum government to show it is willing to make peace in Darfur, where at least 300,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million driven from their homes in fighting since 2003.
Darfur’s multiple rebel groups have so far dismissed the government peace moves, calling them insincere, and have not signed on to a cease-fire. Past cease-fires announced by Khartoum have collapsed.
Mr Al-Bashir also said he was willing to pay compensation to Darfurians who lost their homes to help them return and rebuild.