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UPDATED: 09:46, January 25, 2006
UNHCR chief warns of possible catastrophe in Darfur
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The international community could face a catastrophe in the Darfur region of Sudan, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday.

Guterres told the Security Council the situation in Darfur has deteriorated over the past six months, saying that it will require bold measures and the full involvement of the African Union and the United Nations to avert the catastrophe.

"If we fail, if there is no physical protection for those in need of aid, the risk is a much greater calamity than what we have seen so far," he said. "I appeal to this body today in the strongest terms".

Guterres observed that preventing a disastrous human toll in Darfur requires a peace agreement, not as a solution to the problem, but as the start to a complex process of reconciliation.

He added that this will need the full commitment of the Council and all its members working together in support of peace and putting pressure on all parties involved.

Source: Xinhua

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