13 November 2008
KHARTOUM - - Sudan's President Umar al-Bashir declared an immediate cease-fire in Darfur and called for the disarmament of militias active in the western region to quell a conflict that has killed about 300,000 people.
``I hereby announce our immediate unconditional cease-fire between the Armed Forces and warring factions'' in Darfur, Bashir said in a speech today in the capital, Khartoum. He called on rebel groups to begin peace negotiations.
Bashir made the cease-fire announcement at the close of the Sudan People's Initiative, a forum of political parties and civil society organizations brought together to try to find a solution to the conflict in Darfur. Rebel groups boycotted the initiative, calling it a public-relations effort.