Sudan Accepts Conditional U.N. Force for Darfur, But Obstacles Remain

Sudan Accepts Conditional U.N. Force for Darfur, But Obstacles Remain

LONDON -- After months of fruitless shuttle diplomacy, threats of sanctions, broken promises and politicking, Sudan's government has agreed to accept a coalition of United Nations peacekeepers to back up the beleaguered African Union mission in its western Darfur region.

The deal, announced June 12 from the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, would bring an additional 17,000 to 19,000 troops and 3,700 police officers into Darfur, a region the size of France where fighting between troops, government-backed militias and rebels has raged since 2003.

An estimated 2.5 million people have been made homeless and some 200,000 have lost their lives -- many to war but countless more to the lack of food, clean water and shelter that has accompanied a conflict characterized by the U.S. administration as genocide.

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