March 15, 2005
Over 180,000 Darfur Deaths in 18 Months -- UN Envoy
The U.N. emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, estimates that more than 180,000 people have died in Sudan's Darfur from hunger and disease over the past 18 months, his spokesman said on Monday.
By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. emergency relief coordinator, Jan Egeland, estimates that more than 180,000 people have died in Sudan's Darfur from hunger and disease over the past 18 months, his spokesman said on Monday.
The deaths do not include people killed during ongoing violence in Sudan's arid western region, said spokesman Brian Grogan.
Last week Egeland said that earlier estimates of 70,000 dead from last March to late summer were too low, telling a news conference: "Is it three times that? Is it five times that? I don't know but it is several times the number of the 70,000 that have died altogether."
Egeland now estimates that an average of 10,000 people have died each month over the past year and a half from malnutrition and disease, Grogan said.
Conflict has raged in Darfur for more than two years with rebel groups fighting the government for power and resources. In response, the government has armed some militia. The most brutal one, known as the Janjaweed, has carried out a scorched earth campaign, killing, raping and driving 2 million people from their homes.
The U.N. Security Council this week expects to adopt a resolution that would authorize a 10,000-member peacekeeping force in southern Sudan to monitor a landmark accord that ended 21 years of civil war.
On Darfur, China and Algeria have not yet agreed to U.S. proposals for a travel ban and asset freeze on those who impede the peace process, conduct offensive military overflights or are responsible for atrocities.
Council members also are at odds over where to try cases of gross human rights violations. The United States is opposed to the International Criminal Court in The Hague (news - web sites) and instead has proposed a new tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania. No other council member supports that proposal.
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Millions on the brink of starvation in Horn of Africa - UN
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