Page last updated at 01:37 GMT, Thursday, 3 December 2009

Gambari to head Darfur UN mission

Ibrahim Gambari, pictured with Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on 8 March 2008
Mr Gambari, seen here with Aung San Suu Kyi, is a senior UN envoy

Nigerian diplomat Ibrahim Gambari is to become the head of the UN-African Union peacekeeping force in the conflict-hit Darfur region, the UN has announced.

Mr Gambari is a former Nigerian foreign minister who is currently serving as UN special envoy to Burma.

He will take up his post on 1 January 2010, a spokeswoman for UN chief Ban Ki-moon said.

Mr Gambari replaces Congolese diplomat Rodolphe Adada, who stepped down earlier this year.

Levels of violence have fallen in the region in recent months.

Violence flared in Darfur in 2003 when black African rebel groups took up arms against the Sudanese government in Khartoum, complaining of discrimination and neglect.

Pro-government Arab militias then started a campaign of violence, targeting the black African population.

The UN says some 300,000 people have been killed in the six-year conflict. Khartoum says about 10,000 have died.

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France24 DARFUR: Nigerian diplomat to head Darfur peacekeeping mission - 8 hrs ago
SABC Gambari to head Darfur peacekeeping mission - 10 hrs ago
Reuters Africa Nigerian to head Darfur peacekeeping mission: UN - 11 hrs ago
Times Live South Africa UN official named Darfur peacekeeping chief - 14 hrs ago
IOL UN leader names new peacekeeping chief - 18 hrs ago

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