AU team on rare mission to Sudan's Darfur

The African Union's Peace and Security Council arrives in Sudan on Sunday to meet African peacekeepers serving in the troubled Darfur region, official media said, as rebels claimed a fresh attack.

The rare visit comes 10 years after insurgents from black tribes began their uprising, and after inter-Arab violence since January that has led to the worst displacement of the population in several years.

African Union peacekeepers have served for five years in the UNAMID mission run jointly with the United Nations.

Sudan's official SUNA news agency reported on Saturday that the delegation will visit UNAMID headquarters in the North Darfur state capital, El Fasher, and hold talks with the state governor.

The AU mission is to also visit Kebkabiya, a town west of El Fasher where the UN says thousands have sought refuge after fighting between two Arab tribes in the Jebel Amir gold mining area in January and February.

African Union officials will then travel to the South Darfur state capital of Nyala for talks with the governor.

South of Nyala, a large number of government soldiers and militiamen were killed on Friday in a rebel attack, the Sudan Liberation Army's Minni Minnawi faction said on Saturday.

Sudan's army spokesman could not be reached for comment.