Two groups walked out of talks aimed at ending the violence in Sudan's Darfur region on Saturday.
"These talks are now finished," said Ahmed Hussain Adam, speaking for the Justice and Equality Movement and Sudanese Liberation Army, called the rebels because they are opposed to the central government in Khartoum.
The two groups oppose the Arab Janjaweed militia. The rebels say the government backs the militia, which has been accused of campaign of ethnic cleansing aimed at black Sudanese in Darfur.
The government denies supporting the Janjaweed.
Janjaweed attacks in Darfur have killed thousands and displaced a million people, who now live in squalid camps without adequate supplies. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has said the violence "is bordering on ethnic cleansing."
The rebel groups had been meeting Sudanese government representatives at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. An AU spokesperson said the group was trying to get the two sides to continue talking.
The rebels walked out after they said the government failed to meet preconditions. The government said it would not agree to rebel demands.
- FROM JULY 3, 2004: Sudan agrees to control violence
The rebels wanted the government to:
- Agree to an internationally supervised timeline for the government to disarm the Janjaweed;
- Allow an international inquiry into killings in Darfur;
- Prosecute the killers.
The United States has been pushing the peace talks.
Women to investigate rape allegations
In a related development on Saturday, the Sudanese government said teams of three women â a judge, a police officer and a legal consultant â will be appointed to investigate allegations of rape in Darfur.
The teams will also help women launch lawsuits, Justice Minister Ali Mohammed Osman Yassin said in a statement.