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New Darfur Mediator Arrives in Sudan


The new chief mediator for Darfur made his first visit to Sudan Sunday to push for an end to hostilities in the troubled region, and try to find a comprehensive political solution to the conflict there.

Djibril Bassole, the joint African Union - United Nations chief mediator for Darfur, told reporters in the capital, Khartoum, his mission will be difficult but not impossible.

He will be based in Darfur's main town of el-Fasher, which many observers consider an improvement on his predecessors, the AU's Salim Ahmed Salim and the U.N.'s Jan Eliasson, who were often criticized for not spending enough time in Sudan.

Bassole's visit came as Arab League chief Amr Mussa traveled to Khartoum to hold talks with President Omar al-Bashir. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has indicted the president on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur.

The ICC took action against the Sudanese president on July 14 and asked the court's judges to issue a warrant for his arrest.

In other news, the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement accused the Sudanese government of a recent bomb attack on a village in West Darfur near the border with Chad. The rebels say at least two villagers were killed, including one child.

Five years of fighting in Darfur involving rebels, the Sudanese government and government-backed militias have displaced some 2.5 million people and killed up to 300,000 others.

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

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