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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 July, 2004, 02:45 GMT 03:45 UK
Sudan and Chad agree Darfur moves
Darfur refugees
The UN and US are urging action for the Darfur refugees
Sudan and Chad have approved a series of measures to prevent the violence in the western Sudanese region of Darfur from spilling across the border.

Chadian Radio said President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan and President Idriss Deby of Chad had agreed to set up joint patrols along the border.

They will also set up a commission to assess the damage caused by raids into Chad by pro-Khartoum Arab militiamen.

The Janjaweed militia are accused of atrocities against Darfur residents.

Earlier, President Bashir said the pro-government militias were no longer operating in western Darfur, although a BBC correspondent in the region says this is not the view of local people, who speak of continuing atrocities at their hands.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees are estimated to have fled to Chad from Darfur.

Correspondents say the Chadian government is anxious to prevent the unrest spreading across the border too.

Occasional clashes have been reported between Chadian troops and Sudanese militiamen.

The United Nations and the US have been pressing Khartoum to rein in the Janjaweed.

The UN Security Council has been debating a US draft resolution to impose sanctions on the Arab militia.

But Sudan has warned the US against creating another Iraq-style situation by getting too involved in the Darfur conflict.

Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail said that sanctions would worsen the crisis.

We want to see dramatic improvements on the ground right now
Colin Powell

In an interview with Sudan's Al-Rai Al-Aam newspaper, Mr Ismail warned "those voices which have drawn the world to the Iraq war not to take it to a new war which it will be difficult to disengage from".

US Secretary of State Colin Powell said that Sudan had "days" to stop the violence or face possible sanctions.

"We want to see dramatic improvements on the ground right now," he added.

The US draft resolution threatens to escalate the sanctions within 30 days if results are not evident.

But some countries say that Sudan should be allowed more time.

Human rights activists say the Janjaweed are conducting a genocide against Darfur's black African population - although the UN and member states have refrained from using the word.

A rebellion broke out in Darfur early last year, when two groups took up arms, accusing the government of ignoring the region.

At least 10,000 people died in the ensuing violence.

Those who have fled their homes say the Janjaweed ride on horses and camels into villages which have just been bombed by government aircraft, killing the men and raping the women.

The BBC's Hilary Andersson
"Sudan's government is already under pressure from the United States and the UN"

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