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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 June 2006, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
AU seeks more Nato help in Darfur
African Union peacekeeper watches Darfur residents
The UN wants to take over from African Union peacekeepers
The African Union has asked Nato for more support for its peacekeeping operations in the troubled western Sudanese region of Darfur.

Nato Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said he received a letter from AU Chairman Alpha Oumar Konare, seeking more airlifts, training and support.

On Tuesday, the AU told the BBC an extra 3,000 peacekeepers would be sent to Sudan's Darfur region.

Some 7,000 AU troops are already there but this would be increased to 10,000.

The move comes after United Nations Security Council ambassadors held talks with Sudan about taking over the peacekeeping operation.

Sudan is resisting these plans, saying the extra money should go to the AU.

It is expected that the AU troops will form the basis of the UN operation if it is approved.

At least 200,000 have died in the conflict in the past three years, and two million people have been displaced.

Sudanese rebel forces took up arms in February 2003, accusing the government of discriminating against Darfur's black Africans in favour of Arabs.


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