Darfur mediator: Fighting undermining hopes of resolving conflict

The chief Darfur peace mediator has warned that a recent surge in fighting in the remote region of Sudan is undermining hopes of resolving the six-year conflict. The envoy for the UN and African Union has spent months meeting with rebel groups and government officials to try to craft a peace agreement. New fighting, however, has gripped parts of Darfur this month. The main rebel group seized control of a town in southern Darfur and advanced on the region's government-controlled capital in the north. Bassole said Thursday that the fighting is endangering civilians and undermining hopes for a settlement. He called on all sides to stop fighting. Up to 300,000 people have been killed since 2003 and millions have been displaced.