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Sudan Bans Main Opposition Party amid Sweeping Arrests

Sudan has banned the main opposition party, closed its offices and made sweeping arrests across the country, its secretary general said on Sunday, as fighting continued in a key SPLM stronghold.

"The (ruling) National Congress Party has banned the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in all states and arrested a large number of its members and seized property and documents belonging to it in different states and localities," Yasser Arman said in a statement.

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Sudan State Media Say Rebels Killed 17 Civilians

Rebels fighting Sudanese troops in the ethnically divided border state of South Kordofan killed 17 civilians, some of them children, state media reported.

"Seventeen civilians were killed on Thursday, including children, and 14 wounded, including a number of women, in attacks by the SPLA in the areas of Um Dahilib and Murung, in the Kalugi region of South Kordofan state," the official SUNA news agency reported late on Friday.

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Khartoum Files Complaint with U.N. against S. Sudan

Sudan's government has lodged a complaint at the U.N. Security Council against South Sudan, accusing it of fomenting unrest in its northern neighbor, an official announced on Tuesday.

The complaint also accused South Sudan, which obtained its independence in July, of "supporting rebels" against the Khartoum government, foreign ministry spokesman Al-Obeid Merwah said in a statement.

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Sudan's Bashir Declares Two-Week Truce in South Kordofan

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Tuesday declared a two-week ceasefire in South Kordofan state which has been rocked since June by violent clashes between the Sudanese army and Nuba rebels.

"I declare a unilateral two-week ceasefire," Bashir said in a speech broadcast on state radio during his visit to Kadugli, the capital of the state of South Kordofan.

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U.S. Keeps Iran, Syria on Terror Blacklist Over Support for Hizbullah

The United States retained Iran and its ally Syria as well as Sudan and Cuba on a list of alleged state sponsors of terrorism Thursday, after blacklisting the countries the previous year.

In an annual report, the State Department said "Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2010," citing "financial, material and logistic support" for militant groups in the Middle East and Central Asia.

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U.N.: Crimes against Humanity May Have Been Committed in Sudan

Allegations of summary executions, aerial bombardments of civilians and enforced disappearances in Sudan's South Kordofan could constitute crimes against humanity or war crimes, the U.N. said Monday.

"If substantiated (the allegations) could amount to crimes against humanity, or war crimes for which individual criminal responsibility may be sought," according to the preliminary results of a U.N. investigation into a series of incidents in South Kordofan between June 5 and 30.

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Sudan Grants China Oil Exploration License

Sudan has granted a petroleum exploration license to China, Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti said after his visiting Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and President Omar al-Bashir held talks in Khartoum.

"President Bashir has granted the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) three promising new petroleum blocs and offered a partnership with the national petroleum company Sudapet in the fields where it operates," Karti said late Monday.

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S. Sudan MPs Sworn In, Speaker Calls for Cooperation

Newly independent South Sudan swore in its MPs on Saturday, two days ahead of parliament's opening session, with the speaker calling for cooperation regardless of background or political affiliation.

"You are the founders of the first ever parliament of the Republic of South Sudan," James Wani Igga told the National Legislative Assembly.

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U.N. Troops Assigned to Monitor Sudan Border

Leaders from Sudan and South Sudan signed an agreement Saturday in Addis Ababa to assign 300 Ethiopian troops to monitor the border separating the two countries.

The U.N.-sanctioned troops are tasked with reporting and resolving disputes along the border. They will be assigned from the disputed Abyei region, where the first of 4,200 Ethiopian peacekeepers arrived last week.

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Warring Sudan Opposition Party Rejects Disarmament

Leaders of Sudan's main opposition group, whose men are fighting government troops in South Kordofan, on Saturday rejected calls to disarm and said they would negotiate only via an outside third party.

The northern branch of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, the ruling party of South Sudan, in a statement also accused the government of seeking to destroy north-south relations just two weeks after formal southern independence.

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