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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 November 2006, 10:58 GMT
No deal in Africa's Darfur talks
AU soldier in Darfur. File photo
African Union troops are overstretched in Darfur
Several African leaders have ended a meeting in Libya without announcing a breakthrough in efforts to halt the violence in Sudan's Darfur region.

A Libyan official said the leaders rejected pressure on Sudan to accept international peacekeepers.

The UN Security Council is to meet on Wednesday to discuss plans for the UN to help African Union troops in Darfur.

A BBC correspondent says the Libya meeting did see an agreement to ease tension between Chad and Sudan.

A similar agreement was reached earlier this year.

The two countries accuse each other of backing rebel groups but the BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli says their leaders agreed to respect a truce.

There has been a sharp increase in violence in eastern Chad in the past month, with Chad accusing Sudan of sending pro-government militias across the border from Darfur.

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The leaders of Sudan, Chad, the Central African Republic (CAR), Egypt and Eritrea attended the talks in Libya.

"They want an African solution to their problems without external intervention and without putting pressure on Sudan," said Libya's head of African affairs Ali Triki.

He did not mention the issue of how large the peacekeeping force should be.

There are currently 7,000 African Union troops. Sudan is happy for this to be increased to 12,000 but the UN is pushing for 17,000.

Last week, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said that a compromise had been reached for a hybrid UN-AU force in Sudan's western region.

But Sudanese Foreign Minister Lam Akol said shortly afterwards that "there should be no talk about a mixed force" and that there would be no UN troops in Darfur.

Mr Akol said that the UN would simply provide technical support.

Trading accusations

In recent months, the conflict in Darfur has spread to both Chad and CAR.

They both accuse Sudan of supporting rebellions in their countries.

Chad says it will send troops to CAR to help beat the rebels.

Khartoum, in turn, has said N'djamena is backing rebels in Darfur.

More than 200,000 people have died in three years of conflict in Darfur.

About three million have fled their homes.


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