Sudan's government has promised U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan that it will immediately start to disarm Arab militias accused of committing atrocities against blacks in the western region of Darfur.
In a joint statement with the United Nations Saturday, Sudan also pledged to send troops to the region to protect civilians.
The statement was released as Mr. Annan was leaving Sudan after a three-day visit.
In the meantime, the two rebel groups in Darfur have reportedly said they will not hold talks with the Sudanese government before it disarms the Arab militias, known as Janjaweed.
On Friday, African Union President Alpha Oumar Konare announced that negotiations aimed at ending the conflict would begin on July 15th in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Information for this report is provided by Reuters and AFP.