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UN begins Darfur peacekeeping role

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UN begins Darfur peacekeeping role


It is a largely symbolic handover unlikely to bring much immediate change for the people of Darfur. Members of an all-African peacekeeping force have been swapping their berets.

Lacking equipment, money and experience, the troops have been unable to stop a conflict that has raged for nearly five years. Now they are being absorbed into a joint United Nations-African Union mission.

After delays caused by a dispute with the Sudanese government in Khartoum, it is finally being deployed in trouble-torn Darfur. But current numbers are well below the 26,000 planned for the force.

Peacekeepers have so far failed to protect themselves let alone more than four million people in the region who depend on the world’s largest humanitarian operation. International experts estimate some 200,000 people have died in Darfur, while 2.5 million others have been forced to flee their homes.

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