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*On this date in 2004, Sudan’s President pledged to end violence in the western Darfur region of Africa.
Then-president Omar el-Bashir made the statement to disarm the Arab militias responsible for the killings of some 30,000 people within 30 days. Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed, have carried out a campaign of killings in the vast western region, killing and raping black African villagers in what the U. S. Congress has called genocide.
The United States, European Union (news and websites), and humanitarian groups accuse el-Bashir's government of backing the militiamen in an attempt to put down the Black African rebel groups. Khartoum denies backing the Janjaweed.
Added to the loss of life in the violence, 2.2 million people urgently need food and other aid.