United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has urged Sudan's government and Darfur rebels to conclude a peace agreement this year to prevent Darfur from descending into what he called "complete lawlessness."
Mr. Annan said in his monthly report to the U.N. Security Council Monday that there has been a dangerous increase in violence in Darfur.
He said a further deterioration of the security situation can only be averted if quick progress is made in peace negotiations between Sudan's government and Darfur rebels.
A seventh round of peace talks was due to resume Monday, but African Union officials say they have been postponed. It is not clear when they will resume.
The last round of talks ended in October with little progress amid escalating violence in Darfur and infighting within Darfur's main rebel group.
Some information for this report provided by AP.