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Sudan announces it will hold cease-fire talks with country's main rebel coalition next month

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KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan's information minister says the government will hold cease-fire talks with the country's main rebel coalition next month, the Sudan Revolutionary Front.

Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman said on Thursday that the talks will take place Oct. 12-15 under the leadership of chief African Union mediator Thabo Mbeki, who will visit Khartoum soon.

The Front includes the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North, which is aligned with independent South Sudan and which is waging an insurgency in Sudan's South Kordufan and the Blue Nile states, as well as the Justice and Equality Movement fighting in Sudan's troubled western Darfur region and several smaller groups.

Osman says the talks will be an "important step" toward setting the stage for a "proposed national dialogue process" between Khartoum and opposition parties and rebel groups.

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