Ewen MacAskill

London: The U.N. is preparing to intervene in the Darfur crisis in Sudan after admitting that an African Union mission has failed to curb the violence that has seen two million people displaced and thousands killed. With violence increasing over the past few months, Kofi Annan, the U.N. Secretary-General, said the replacing of the A.U. force with a U.N. one is ``now inevitable''. The U.N. plans to put in a bigger, better-financed force with a mandate not just to monitor events as the A.U. had been doing but to fire back at and hunt down those responsible for the ethnic cleansing. Mr. Annan said he wished efforts to resolve the crisis had borne fruit. ``Alas, the opposite is true. People in many parts of Darfur continue to be killed, raped and driven from their homes by the thousand. The number displaced has now reached two million, while three million [half the total population of Darfur] are dependent on international relief for food and other basics. -

Guardian Newspapers Limited 2004