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UN to investigate Darfur genocide

A five-member panel to investigate whether genocide has taken place in Darfur has been appointed by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan. The commission has been given three months to report its verdict about events in the western Sudanese region. The United States has already declared the attacks in Darfur to be genocide, and human rights organisations have said they amount to war crimes. An estimated 50,000 people have died in the past year and a half in Darfur. Some 1.4 million have also been made homeless as a result of attacks by pro-government Arab militias. The Janjaweed are accused of killing thousands of black African civilians and emptying villages as part of a campaign against rebels in Darfur. The commission includes human rights and legal experts from Peru, Egypt, Pakistan and Ghana and is chaired by Italian law professor Antonio Cassese, who was president of the UN war crimes tribunal for former Yugoslavia from 1993-1997. They will leave shortly for Sudan. Group Profile

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