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UN Chief Heads to Sudan to Push for New Peacekeeping Force


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon heads to Sudan on Monday to press the government to clear the way for a U.N. peacekeeping force in the country's troubled Darfur region.

Last week, Mr. Ban said he is deeply concerned about an escalation of violence that has caused hundreds of deaths in Darfur during the past few weeks.

U.N. officials say he plans to urge Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to accept the speedy deployment of 26,000 peacekeepers.

Mr. Ban's six-day trip to Africa will also include stops in Libya and Chad.

More than four years of fighting in Darfur between rebels, the government and government-allied militias has killed an estimated 200,000 people and displaced more than two million others.

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