AFRICA UPDATE

Nigeria considers end to sanctions Nigeria has said it would press for a lifting of sanctions against South Africa at an Organization of African Unity meeting in June if Pretoria scraps its remaining apartheid laws by next month.

"We... would be fully prepared to promote and undertake initiatives at the forthcoming OAU summit to lift sanctions on South Africa if the remaining apartheid laws are abrogated by May 1991," said President Ibrahim Babangida. Nigeria will host the meeting on June 3-5.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, has been an implacable foe of apartheid, and its backing is crucial for any moves to lift trade and economic sanctions at the OAU summit.

Angolan peace talks

The United States' top Africa expert flew to Portugal Saturday to attend a critical stage in peace talks between Angola's leftist government and the US-backed UNITA rebel movement.

Soviet, US, and United Nations observers are attending the talks, and all sides have expressed hopes of reaching agreement on a cease-fire in the 16-year-old civil war by the end of April.

The ruling Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and the rebel National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) are discussing the main sticking point in the year-old peace negotiations - the length of the transition period between implementing a cease-fire and holding multiparty elections, the spokesman said.

Sudan famine threat

A plan to save the lives of thousands threatened with famine in southern Sudan has been so delayed by the government that Western donor states are considering launching a cross-border relief operation without official approval.

Relief officials said Sunday that hundreds, possibly thousands would die unless famine relief was rushed to their war-stricken region.

The officials said a blueprint for a relief operation was submitted to the government three weeks ago after months of tough talks over details but there has been no response.

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