EU welcomes cease-fire in Sudan, prepares to resume aid

Feb 1, 2002 (AP)

The European Union on Friday welcomed a cease-fire between Sudanese government forces and rebels in the Nuba Mountains and said it was willing to help further efforts to end the country's 18-year civil war.

"The cease-fire agreement (is) an important step toward achieving a comprehensive settlement," the EU said in a statement.

The EU said it was "ready to examine measures it can take to support positive efforts aimed at bringing the Sudanese civil conflict to an end."

On Thursday the EU announced it was moving to normalize relations with Sudan, 11 years after the 15-nation bloc froze development aid in protest over human rights concerns.

The EU said it had allocated 135 million euro (dlrs 116 million) in development aid over the next five years for Sudan, but that could be substantially increased depending in part on human rights developments and efforts to end the fighting.