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Sudanese president says Sudan and Chad will work together to end rebellion in western Sudan

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By ABAKAR SALEH, Associated Press Writer

N’DJAMENA, Chad, Aug 10, 2003 (AP) — Sudanese President Omar el-Bashir said Sunday that Sudan and Chad will work together to end a six-month rebellion in a western Sudanese province that borders Chad.

El-Bashir was in Chad for one day to meet with his Chadian counterpart, Idriss Deby. The talks between the two men centered on how to quell the rebellion in the western Darfur province, El-Bashir said.

Following the meeting, El-Bashir said they had agreed to devote "all efforts" to end the rebellion but did not specify if the two countries were seeking a military or a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

Sunday’s meeting was the second time Deby, who came to power in a December 1990 coup, and el-Bashir held talks about the rebellion - their first meeting came in April in al-Fasher, the capital of Darfur.

Deby’s Zaghawa tribe live on both sides of the border, and Deby launched his rebellion from al-Fasher in the late 1980s.

In February, a group calling itself the Darfur Liberation Front attacked Sudanese government troops in the Jabal Mara mountains and asked the government for the right of self-determination.

Tribes have been fighting each other for years in Darfur, a province that is home to a fifth of Sudan’s 30 million people and one of the least developed.

El-Bashir’s visit to Chad comes as the Sudanese government and southern Sudan People’s Liberation Movement rebels prepared to resume peace talks aimed at ending a 20-year civil war that has ravaged the southern part of the vast country.

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