The African Union (AU) agreed Thursday evening to more than double the number of troops authorized for Sudan's war-torn western Darfur region, an AU spokesman said.
AU spokesman Assane Ba told journalists that the AU's Peace and Security Council has decided to increase the peacekeeping force from 2,200 to more than 7,700, including nearly 5,500 troops, 1,600 civilian police and some 700 military observers.
He said the reinforced troops would be put in place by the end of September.
The 53-nation body currently has 2,200 troops in Darfur out of an initial proposal of 3,320. It has not received the funding it needs for the 3,320, according to AU officials.
The conflict of Darfur flared up in February 2003 when two rebel groups took up arms against the Khartoum government accusing it of negligence.
(Xinhua News Agency April 29, 2005)