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Oxfam: Humanitarian Crisis in Darfur Expected to Drag On into 2006

The British charity Oxfam says the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's Darfur region could leave more than two million people completely dependent on international aid until late 2006.

Oxfam regional director Paul Smith-Lomas says most Darfur refugees do not feel safe enough to return to their villages. With this year's planting season likely to be missed, he says the region's next harvest will not take place until October of next year.

Peace talks between the Sudanese government and rebel leaders have so far failed.

Meanwhile, an African Union peacekeeping operation in Darfur has not stopped the violence. But the pan-African body has announced plans to double its troop strength to more than 7,000 personnel.

Oxfam estimates that about 300,000 people have died since the conflict erupted in 2003 - while the United Nation's puts the death toll at around 180,000.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.