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Study: Most Darfur Deaths Due to Disease, Not Violence


A newly arrived refugee from the Darfur region of Sudan rests next to her belongings in Seneit, Birak area, eastern Chad (file)

A newly arrived refugee from the Darfur region of Sudan rests next to her belongings in Seneit, Birak area, eastern Chad (file)

The study by the British medical journal, The Lancet, says violence was the main cause of death in 2004, but that disease caused most deaths from 2005 onward

A new study on the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region finds that at least 80 percent of deaths in the war were caused by disease rather than violence.

The United Nations estimates that 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur since rebels and the Sudanese government began fighting in 2003.

The new study, published Saturday in the British medical journal The Lancet, says violence was the main cause of death in 2004, but that disease caused most deaths from 2005 onward.

It says the estimated 2.7 million people displaced by the war were susceptible to diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria and other illnesses.

Violence has largely subsided in Darfur, but the area remains prone to banditry and kidnappings, and most of the rebel groups have not made peace with the government.

A new round of peace talks was scheduled to begin Sunday in (Doha,) Qatar. So far, mediators have only held separate meetings with Sudanese officials and delegates from the main rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

The JEM wants other rebel groups excluded from the talks. The Sudanese government wants the other groups included.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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