US Secretary of State Colin Powell met the leader of the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), John Garang, on 28 May and expressed confidence that an end to Sudan’s two decades of civil war was in sight. ‘We think the progress has been good so far,’ said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher. ‘But it’s going to take more effort and we’re certainly willing to continue to put the effort into it, and we think the parties are too.’ The note of optimism followed the end without progress of the latest round of peace talks in Kenya on 21 May (MEED 22:5:03).