Sudan President to Speak at S. Sudan Independence

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

JUBA, Sudan (AP) -- Southern Sudan's government says the Sudanese president will give a speech at this weekend's independence day celebrations.

Monday's announcement comes just days after President Omar
al-Bashir said his army would continue an offensive in the northern
state of South Kordofan.

Hostilities there against southern-aligned forces have displaced
more than 70,000 people.

Al-Bashir's statement makes it unlikely the two governments will
reach a cease-fire by independence day on Saturday.

Western advocacy groups have warned that the northern government
is attempting ethnic cleansing and even genocide in the region.

Two decades of civil war with northern Sudan decimated the
oil-rich south and left more than 2 million dead.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
AP-NY-07-04-11 0816EDT

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