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Peacekeeping Chief:  Darfur No Longer at War


The outgoing commander of international peacekeepers in Sudan's troubled Darfur region says the area no longer is in a state of war.

Speaking to reporters late Wednesday, Martin Luther Agwai said Darfur still has security issues, but he said the phase of full-scale war in the region has passed. Agwai said most of Darfur's rebel groups have fragmented, and are not strong enough to do any fighting.

His comments are similar to those of the U.N.-African Union mission's political chief, Rodolphe Adada, who is due to leave this week after resigning.

Adada angered some Western diplomats in April when he said the situation in Darfur had settled down into "a low-intensity conflict."

Human rights groups describe the situation in Darfur as a genocide. The United Nations says up to 300,000 people have died over six years of fighting between rebel groups and government forces.

Sudan puts the death toll much lower, at 10,000.

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, whom it accuses of masterminding a campaign of rape, murder and other crimes against Darfur civilians.

Mr. Bashir has rejected the court's authority and has repeatedly traveled abroad in defiance of the arrest warrant.


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

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