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Rights Groups Call for Darfur Arrests

Leading international human rights groups have launched a campaign calling for the arrest of two Sudanese war crimes suspects accused of committing atrocities in Darfur.

The campaign has appealed to the United Nations Security Council to press for the arrest of Sudan's state minister for humanitarian affairs, Ahmed Haroun, and militia leader Ali Kosheib.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, among other groups, made the appeal in a letter Friday.

The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for the two men last year, charging them with 51 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

They are accused of targeting civilians in attacks on four West Darfur villages in 2003 and 2004.

Five years of fighting in Darfur has claimed the lives of some 200,000 people and has displaced more than 2.5 million others.

The fighting broke out in early 2003 between local rebels, the Sudanese government and government-backed militias.

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