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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 June, 2004, 20:55 GMT 21:55 UK
Sudan under pressure over Darfur
Darfur refugee
Many Darfur refugees face death from hunger
The US and the EU have expressed "grave concern" about Sudan's conflict-torn Darfur region, saying the government in Khartoum must rein in Arab militias.

"We strongly condemn the human rights violations... particularly by Jingaweit militias," the leaders said in a joint declaration at their summit in Ireland.

Human rights groups accuse Khartoum of backing Arab militia groups that have killed thousands of Africans in Darfur.

The fighting in Darfur has driven more than a million people from their homes.

Pressure on Khartoum

"We express grave concern at the continuing humanitarian crisis in Darfur, western Sudan, where the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians, who live in desperate conditions and require immediate life-saving relief, are at great risk," the declaration said.

At the end of their summit at Dromoland Castle, in County Clare, US President George W Bush and EU leaders again urged the Sudanese government to disarm the militias and allow full access for humanitarian workers.

"We also reiterate that those responsible for the atrocities must be held accountable," the declaration said.

The document was issued as the international community has been gradually increasing pressure on Khartoum to stop with the violence in Darfur that erupted 16 months ago.

On Friday, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said he would meet US Secretary of State Colin Powell in Khartoum next week to deal with the conflict.

The BBC's Christen Thomsen
"The scale of the crisis is easy to see"

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