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Last Updated: Monday, 18 September 2006, 21:32 GMT 22:32 UK
Sudan calls for Darfur investment
Women queue for water near Al-Fasher, the capital of the Darfur region
Sudanese ministers say water resources are vital
The Sudanese government has said war-torn Darfur needs investment rather than United Nations peacekeepers.

The Sudanese finance minister said Darfur had a "development problem", requiring humanitarian aid and investment in basic infrastructure.

At least 200,000 people are estimated to have died and more than two million been displaced during the three-year conflict in the northern region.

The government, accused of stoking the conflict, has rejected UN intervention.

'Resources needed'

Attending an international financial conference in Singapore, Sudanese Finance Minister Lual Deng said the government was working with bodies such as the World Bank to assess Darfur's economic needs.

He said the UN should spend its money on meeting Darfur's basic social and economic problems rather than launching a peacekeeping mission.

"What Darfur needs most is resources for water, resources for schools, for hospitals," he said.

"These resources, if they could be used in order to develop Darfur, it would be much better."

Many Western leaders and aid bodies believe a further humanitarian catastrophe is likely if UN troops are not allowed into the region.

The US government has said genocide has occurred in Darfur, accusing the government of supporting local Arab militias in the killing of thousands of people.




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