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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 January, 2005, 15:15 GMT
Hundred deaths feared in Darfur
Darfur refugees
The latest fighting has produced more refugees, the UN says
Up to 105 civilians are thought to have died in fresh fighting in Sudan's Darfur region, the United Nations says.

One village was practically destroyed in the violence and more than 9,000 people were displaced, a spokesman told a news conference in Khartoum.

A UN investigation on whether genocide has been committed in Darfur has been submitted but not yet made public.

Pro-government Arab militias are accused of massacring thousands of black African civilians in the region.

UN officials say their report is being sent to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and will be released next week.

Details of the latest fighting were given by UN spokesman George Somerwill after an assessment team was sent to the area of Hamada, Juruf and Gemeiza villages in South Darfur state.

"It has been confirmed that the village of Hamada was nearly totally destroyed and that up to 105 civilians may have been killed, with the majority of victims being women and children," he said.

Some 8,000 refugees had fled to nearby Menawashi and 1,250 to Mershing, both in South Darfur state, he added.

Mr Somerwill was unable to say how the people were killed or who was involved in the fighting.

Push for sanctions

Some 70,000 people, mostly non-Arabs, have died in the two-year conflict.

More than 1.5 million have fled their homes, with many saying they have been attacked by horse- and camel-mounted Arab militias backed up by the security forces.

We are committed to use the same drive and to draw from our experience in resolving the conflict in southern Sudan to bring a prompt and fair answer to the conflict in Darfur
Vice-President Osman Ali Taha

The Sudanese government denies backing the Janjaweed militias, and blames rebels for starting the conflict.

The US has said that genocide is being committed and has again started to lobby for a UN resolution threatening sanctions against Sudan.

Previous attempts to threaten sanctions have been blocked by China, which has oil interests in Sudan, and Russia, which has sold arms to the government, according to lobby group Human Rights Watch.

Meanwhile, fewer people are dying from disease as Darfur's refugee camps have become better equipped, the World Health Organisation says.

Following the signing of a deal to end a separate war in southern Sudan, the European Union has offered 50m euros ($65m) in aid, to be divided equally between the north and south.

The EU, the world's leading aid donor, suspended co-operation with Sudan in 1990.

A further 400m euros ($520m) is available if peace is restored to Darfur, reports the AFP news agency.

"We are committed to use the same drive and to draw from our experience in resolving the conflict in southern Sudan to bring a prompt and fair answer to the conflict in Darfur," said Sudan's Vice-President Osman Ali Taha.

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