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Rival sides in Abyei break the ice

The two rival tribes in the disputed border region of Abyei held peace talks on Thursday after recent clashes left at least 37 people dead

AFP, Thursday 13 Jan 2011

The feuding ethnic groups of Sudan's flashpoint district of Abyei on the north-south border broke the ice in peace talks on Thursday after deadly clashes at the weekend, both sides said.

"This is a step forward. We agreed to work for peace," the paramount chief of the Ngok Dinka, Kuol Deng Kuol, said after two days of UN-facilitated talks in the South Kordofan state capital Kadugli.

A tribal chief of the nomadic Misseriya, Hamid Al-Ansari, said: "This meeting has broken the tensions between the Dinka and the Misseriya. Now we are sitting together and eating together and we are no longer afraid of each other."

The Misseriya said they had lost 14 in clashes with the pro-southern Dinka during the past week. The Dinka said they had lost between 23 and 24 from Friday to Sunday in the latest fighting over the disputed district.\

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