Monday, May 23, 2005

Africa Union Wants Gear for Use in Darfur

The Africa Union will press donors for six helicopter gunships, 116 armored personnel carriers and other equipment for its peacekeepers struggling to end the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's western Darfur region.

The logistical and material support will help the AU raise the number of its peacekeepers and step up operations to stabilize Darfur, the scene of one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.

"The international community has asked us to increase our strength which we are doing and so I think they will support us both logistically and financially," AU spokesman Assane Ba said.

An estimated 180,000 people have died - many from hunger and disease - and about 2 million others have fled their homes in Darfur to escape the conflict between rebels on one side and government forces pro-government militia on the other.


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