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UN Evacuates Staffers from Sudan's Darfur

The United Nations has relocated some non-essential personnel out of Sudan's Darfur region due to fears of a backlash over charges of atrocities brought against President Omar al-Bashir.

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on Monday asked the court to issue an arrest warrant against Mr. Bashir on 10 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo is accusing the Sudanese leader of orchestrating a campaign of murder, rape and forced deportation against the people of Darfur.

Khartoum immediately rejected the charges, saying it does not recognize the ICC's jurisdiction. But government officials insist no harm will come to U.N. staffers working in Darfur.

The international body has said it will continue peacekeeping operations in the region, despite last week's killing of seven peacekeepers from a joint U.N.-African Union force by gunmen.

The joint force has been in Darfur since January. Its mission has only nine-thousand troops and police out of a mandate of 26,000.

A lack of equipment and resistance from the Sudanese government have hampered the force's deployment.

The violence in Darfur involving rebels, government forces, and the Janjaweed militia has led to the deaths of some 300,000 people and the displacement of more than two million others since 2003.

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