U.N. Report Calls for Troop Increase in Sudan

A U.N. report called Wednesday for a quick increase in the international monitoring force in Sudan (search), saying the government has not stopped attacks against civilians or disarmed marauding militias.

On July 30, the council gave the government 30 days to demonstrate that it was taking action to curb Arab militias accused of attacking, raping and killing villagers in Darfur (search), and improve security and humanitarian access. It threatened punitive economic and diplomatic measures if Khartoum didn't move quickly.

The report to the U.N. Security Council (search) did not mention or recommend sanctions but said the government of Sudan has not been able to resolve the crisis in Darfur, and has not met some of the core commitments it has made."

The Sudanese government is under intense international pressure to restore calm across the western desert region where an 18-month insurgency has killed more than 30,000 people and driven more than 1 million from their homes.

The U.N. report cited "some progress" by the government in improving security in several areas where Sudanese have taken refuge, deploying additional police and the beginning of disarmament and the lifting of restrictions to humanitarian relief. It also said the government has made a commitment not to force those who have fled to return and has established human rights monitors and investigations of the conflict.

But despite its commitment, the report said, the government has not "fully" met its obligation to stop attacks against civilians and ensure their protection.

"Attacks against civilians are continuing and the vast majority of armed militias has not been disarmed," it said.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search) sent the report to the council ahead of Thursday's briefing to its 15 members by his top envoy to Sudan, Jan Pronk, whose observations will form the basis of its conclusions and recommendations.