Archive for Tuesday, November 14, 2006

U.N. pledges $22M for African Union in Darfur

November 14, 2006

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— The United Nations has pledged to send help to the overwhelmed African Union force in Darfur.

The U.N. will send $22 million in personnel and equipment to help the region as Sudan blocks the world body from sending its own peacekeepers to the war-torn region, a top U.N. official said Monday.

The force currently has 7,000 troops in the violence-plagued region to monitor a shaky cease-fire signed earlier this year by the government and one rebel faction.

The announcement came as the U.N. reported nearly 40 civilian deaths in the last few days in attacks in Darfur by Arab militiamen - some of whom were backed by Sudanese military vehicles.

More than 200,000 people have been killed in Darfur and 2.5 million displaced since the conflict began in February 2003, when ethnic African tribesmen took up arms against the Arab-led government in Khartoum.

U.N. investigators and rights groups have blamed the worst atrocities on the janjaweed, a pro-government militia that is widely accused of killing villagers and destroying their homes. The government denies supporting the militia.

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