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Last Updated: Monday, 2 May, 2005, 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK
Darfur survivors in No 10 protest
Protesters lay on the ground to symbolise the dead
The protesters want more African troops to be sent to Darfur
More than 200 asylum seekers from Darfur have protested outside Downing Street, calling for 30m to pay for a larger peacekeeping force.

Organisers said 30,000 peacekeepers were needed in Darfur, in western Sudan. There are currently 2,200.

Some carried placards bearing the name of those killed, while others lay flat on the ground to symbolise the dead.

It came as aid group Oxfam said the crisis in Darfur looked set to continue until late 2006.

The UN estimates at least 180,000 people have died in the crisis and two million have fled their homes.

We are not asking for British troops to be sent to Darfur, we are asking for more support for the African Union
Rebecca Tinsley

Other estimates put the death toll at over 300,000.

The protesters lay in a tight group outside Downing Street, shouting "sanctions against Sudan's killer leaders" and other slogans.

Organisers said up to 300 people took part, but other reports put the figure at closer to 200. There was no official police estimate.

The protest brought many of the asylum seekers to London from their new homes in the Midlands, where they are awaiting the processing of their asylum claims.

Abdellatife Ismail, 46, said he fled to London with his wife and children after his brother was killed during the violence in Darfur.

He said: "My village was attacked and more than 73 people were killed.

"Lots of people are talking about it, but very little is actually being done to protect the people."


Refugees in a Darfur camp
More than 2m people have been displaced by the conflict
Rebecca Tinsley, director of Waging Peace, which planned the protest, said all of Monday's protesters had lost relatives in the conflict and many had been tortured.

Last month the Organisation of African Unity agreed to boost the peacekeeping contingent to almost 8,000 by September.

But Ms Tinsley said that would still not be enough and the former head of the UN mission in Rwanda had estimated 30,000 troops would be required.

She said more money was needed so that more African troops could be sent to the region.

She said: "We are not asking for British troops to be sent to Darfur, we are asking for more support for the African Union.

"They have a pitiful number of soldiers in an area the size of France. We want to get money to the African Union so that Africa can solve its own problems."

Campaigners are also calling for a "no-fly" zone over Darfur to protect villagers, as well as urgent food aid, clothing and shelter.

Why displacement is likely to continue in Darfur

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