UN refugee official calls for action on Darfur

A large UN peacekeeping force is needed in Sudan if a "total humanitarian disaster" is to be avoided in the country's Darfur region, the UN's top refugee official said Tuesday. Antonio Guterres, the UN high commissioner for refugees, told the Council that international solidarity in helping create a peace agreement in Sudan and then backing that up with troops on the ground is desperately needed. "I do believe the Sudan-Chad situation is the most challenging humanitarian problem we face today in the world," Guterres said at a press conference following his Council appearance. The Darfur crisis erupted in early 2003 when rebels took up arms against what they saw as years of state neglect and discrimination against Sudanese of African origin.