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Archive for Thursday, July 8, 2004

African countries demand Sudan crack down on militias

July 8, 2004

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— The African Union demanded Wednesday that Sudan arrest and prosecute Arab militiamen accused of committing atrocities in western Sudan, but it said the violence in the Darfur region did not constitute genocide.

The demand came as Sudan agreed to allow the deployment of 300 African Union troops in Darfur, where thousands of people have been killed and more than 1 million black Africans have fled attacks by Arab militiamen known as the Janjaweed, said African Union spokesman Desmond Orjiako.

The African Union's Peace and Security Council issued a statement demanding that Sudan immediately arrest those responsible for the violence and destruction and compensate the victims.

"The crisis should be addressed with urgency," the statement said. The "council welcomes the commitment made by the government to disarm and neutralize the Janjaweed militia and urges the government to follow through with these commitments."

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said the crisis was "bordering on ethnic cleansing."

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