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Sudan Rejects UN Statement Alleging Increased Darfur Violence


Sudan's government has rejected a statement from United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon asserting that violence in the Darfur region is on the rise.

Sudanese state media Wednesday quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying Mr. Ban's statement is based on fabricated news stories.

The spokesman, Ali al-Sadiq, said the Sudanese government has not carried out any military action recently in Darfur.

On Tuesday, the U.N. secretary-general said he is deeply concerned about what he called the recent escalation of violence in the Darfur region.

He said several hundred people have died in incidents that include an August 1 attack on a police station and air strikes on villages in South Darfur that followed.

Mr. Ban is due to visit Darfur during a trip to Sudan set to begin next week.

Addressing the U.N. Security Council Tuesday, Mr. Ban said he wants to see for himself the conditions under which the U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission planned for Darfur will operate. He said he also wants to know firsthand the plight of Darfur's people.

The U.N. Security Council has authorized a force of up to 26,000 for Darfur.

The current African Union force of 7,000 has not been able to stop violence in the region.

More than four years of fighting between rebels, the government and militia groups has killed an estimated 200,000 people and displaced more than two million others.

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