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UN rights chief calls for independent probe into Darfur attacks

[JURIST] Militia attacks in Sudan's Darfur region [JURIST news archive] may have killed hundreds of people in August, many more than previously thought, according to a report [DOC text] issued Monday by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile]. Arbour also urged the Sudanese government to open an independent investigation [press release] into the alleged killings, though she noted that "the attacks appear to have been conducted with the knowledge and material support of Government authorities." The attacks were allegedly carried out on tribes of "African" origin in the Buram area in the south of Darfur.

On Saturday, a Sudanese official accused local NGOs of "fabricating" reports of human rights violations [JURIST report], while the UN insisted that the sources were reliable and that all information had been verified before the reports were sent to the Security Council. The fighting between the government and rebel factions in Darfur, which continues to surge even after a May peace deal, has killed or displaced millions of people since it began three years ago. The peace deal [JURIST report], which has yet to take effect, would allow UN peacekeeping troops to enter Sudan and take over the peacekeeping mission currently led by the African Union (AU) [official website]. So far, Sudan has not allowed UN troops to come in, though Sudan President Omar al-Bashir has announced that he would allow UN support for the AU mission. Reuters has more.

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