Khartoum’s criticisms of PCP came hours after the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) announced that a final peace deal with the government could be reached by the end of the year. After meeting US Secretary of State Colin Powell in Washington, SPLA leader John Garang made a statement saying that there was a ‘good chance’ that a ‘final, just and comprehensive’ solution could be reached in the near future.

Sudanese rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), on 23 November told Reuters that it had released the nine locally employed Medair aid workers kidnapped on 11 November. ‘We released the workers in the town of Tina to officials from Medecins Sans Frontieres, witnessed by the government of Chad,’ said president of JEM Khalil Ibrahim (MEED 19:11:03).