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Cease-fire agreed in Sudan


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President Bush called the civil war "one of the worst humanitarian tragedies of our time."

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Sudan's government and its two main rebel groups have agreed to sign a cease-fire, Sudanese officials say

The agreement would also allow humanitarian access to the western Darfur region, the officials added.

The signing ceremony will take place in Chad Thursday, where both sides have been negotiating the truce.

Violence in the oil-rich Darfur region has raged for more than a year. Rebel groups accuse the government of arming Arab militia groups to carry out attacks in the region.

The government has refused outside military intervention, although rebel groups have publicly said they would welcome such forces.

On Wednesday, U.S. President George Bush demanded Sudan's government end mass fighting with rebels, calling the nation's civil war "one of the worst humanitarian tragedies of our time."

U.N. workers have reported human rights violations in the region that "seem aimed at achieving a specific objective: the forcible and long-term displacement of the targeted communities, which may also be termed ethnic cleansing."

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Wednesday proposed sending a high-level team to Darfur "to gain a fuller understanding of the extent and nature of this crisis."

-- CNN Producer Gladys Njoroge in Nairobi contributed to this story


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