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Ten years of conflict in Darfur

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Here are key events since civil war erupted in Sudan's western Darfur region 10 years ago, leading to a humanitarian crisis.

The devastating conflict has killed at least 300,000 people and left more than one million displaced, according to UN figures, while Sudan puts the death toll at 10,000.

Although the level of violence has greatly diminished in recent years, clashes between rebels and the army backed by Arab militias, as well as robberies, kidnappings and tribal violence take place in the region routinely.

2003

Black tribal rebels in the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/SLA) take up arms against Khartoum, demanding greater access to resources and power.

On February 26 rebels take the town of Gulu in northern Darfur.

State-backed Arab militias called Janjaweed respond, leading to allegations of atrocities including murder, rape, looting and burning villages.

2004

In August, the first African Union peacekeepers deploy in Darfur.

2007

A hybrid African Union-United Nations force called UNAMID takes over from the African force, but faces numerous obstacles to its deployment. It currently numbers about 19,000 soldiers and police.

2008

More than 220 people are killed in May when JEM rebels thrust hundreds of kilometres (miles) from Darfur to Omdurman, just across the River Nile from the presidential palace in Khartoum.

2009

The International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. It issues a second warrant for genocide in 2010. Two other senior Sudanese officials and an alleged Janjaweed commander are also wanted by the Hague-based court.

2010

After a lull in fighting which lasts several months, fighting resumes late in the year after the breakdown of an accord signed in 2006 with a faction of the SLM. More than 2,300 killed in 2010, according to the UN.

2011

In September, 13 police officers are killed in clashes with an armed gang as they try to rescue three unidentified hostages in Darfur's Jebel Marra region. Since 2009 more than 30 foreigners have been abducted, with suspicion falling on government-linked groups. Most victims were freed quickly and unharmed.

In November Darfur's armed groups form an alliance -- the Sudanese Revolutionary Front -- committed to regime change in Sudan.

2012

JEM's new chief, Gibril Ibrahim, who took over after his brother and former leader Khalil was killed, says the Sudanese government has destroyed the climate for negotiations and vows to keep pushing for regime change.

Sudan accuses newly independent South Sudan of working with the JEM, a charge denied by Juba, which Khartoum also accuses of backing armed revolts in its South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions.

2013

More than 100 are killed in early January in inter-Arab tribal fighting in the gold-mining area of Jebel Amir in North Darfur.

According to the UN, aid delivery is in jeopardy for an estimated 100,000 people affected by violence in the region unless authorities grant better access.

It is Darfur's biggest displacement of the population in years, aid workers say.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130221/ten-years-conflict-darfur