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REBEL LEADER WILL EMBARK ON PEACE TALKS

SHARE REBEL LEADER WILL EMBARK ON PEACE TALKS

UNITA rebel leader Jonas Savimbi will start peace talks with the government next week following recent battlefield gains by rebel forces, a U.N. official in Luanda said today.

Savimbi said he would send military representatives to the peace talks with government officials in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, said the U.N. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.He said initial plans to hold the talks on Monday were changed because of difficulties in arranging security for the rebel delegation.

Afonso Van Dunem M'Binda, Angola's U.N. ambassador, agreed to the talks on behalf of the government during a meeting Thursday with U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the Portuguese news agency LUSA reported.

Rebel spokesman Jorge Valentim accepted the proposal on behalf of UNITA, U.N. special representative Margaret Anstee was quoted by LUSA as saying.

Previous U.N. attempts to bring both sides to the bargaining table have failed.