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African Union Chooses Ghana Over Sudan as Bloc Chair

The African Union has picked Ghana to lead the organization, rejecting a bid by Sudan because of the crisis in Darfur.

The A.U.'s chief executive, Alpha Oumar Konare, announced the decision at the A.U. summit in Addis Ababa Monday.

He said by a consensus vote, member nations chose Ghanian President John Kufuor to hold the A.U.'s rotating chairmanship.

Sudan had said it would fight to lead the 53-member organization. But several member nations opposed Sudan because of the chaos and violence in Darfur.

This is the second year in a row Sudan was denied the A.U. chairmanship because of the Darfur situation.

More than four years of fighting in the region has killed some 200,000 people, and driven more than two million others from their homes.

Sudan is accused of fueling the conflict by arming Arab militias. President Omar al-Bashir has rejected U.N. efforts to deploy a larger peacekeeping force to the region.

An African Union force of 7,000 has been ineffective in stopping the region's violence.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.