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On the Record

Assessing the Peace Talks in Africa

SCOTT SIMON, host: Do you see settling that civil war in southern Sudan as key to settling the ethnically based conflict in Darfur where tens of thousands of people have been killed and over a million displaced?

SUSAN RICE: Well, Scott, I think there are distinct conflicts that have certain links. But the fact is, the United States has long had a real interest in resolving the north-south conflict, but I think it would be a grave mistake on the part of the United States government, and indeed on the part of the international community, to subordinate the Darfur conflict to the north-south peace agreement, as badly as we all want to see that north-south agreement achieved, because the message will be to the government of Sudan that it can get away with killing civilians with impunity.

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