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U.N.: Political solution needed in Darfur

KHARTOUM, Sudan, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- All parties to the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan are called on to lay down their weapons in favor of political dialogue, a U.N. official said.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights reported last week that at least eight people, including five teenagers, were killed and 50 others were injured when security forces fired on demonstrators in Darfur.

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The hybrid U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur said a district leader was killed and camps for the internally displaced were attacked in recent days.

Ibrahim Gambari, head of the peacekeeping mission, called for the return of law and order.

"I call upon all parties involved to put down their arms, to seek a peaceful resolution and a common dialogue," he said in a statement. "Killing and destruction are not the answer."

The Security Council, in a recent resolution, said it was "deeply concerned" about violence and insecurity in Darfur as well as clashes with Sudanese forces in the region.

It opted, however, to cut down on the military and police component of the peacekeeping force in order to focus on parts of Darfur "with the highest security threats."

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