Here is a chronology of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur:

February 2003 - Two rebel groups rise up, saying government neglects the region and arms Arab militia against civilians.

April 2, 2004 -Jan Egeland, UN aid chief, says "scorched-earth tactics" trigger "one of the world's worst humanitarian crises".

April 8 - Government, SLA and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebels agree 45-day ceasefire.

May 7 - UN human rights report says Sudanese troops and militia may be guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

May 28 - Government, rebels agree to African, EU ceasefire monitors.

June 19 – Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, orders "complete mobilisation" to disarm all armed groups in Darfur.

October 15 - The UN's World Health Organisation (WHO) says that a total of 70,000 are estimated to have died in the region.

A girl plays in a camp for displaced
people in western Darfur (file)

October 30 - Rwandan troops arrive in the Darfur region to join Nigerian soldiers monitoring a shaky cease-fire.

November 9 - Sudan signs two landmark peace deals with rebels for a ban on military flights over Darfur and covering security and humanitarian access to Darfur.

March 16, 2005 - The UN withdraws all international staff in areas of western Sudan after Arab militias said they would target foreigners and UN convoys.

March 31 - The US abstains as the UN vote to refer war crimes suspects in Darfur to the International Criminal Court. The ICC launches its formal investigations in June.

Nigerian (AU) soldiers parade at a
base in western Darfur state (file)

March 10, 2006 - The African Union extends its mission in Darfur until September 30 to buy time to break an impasse over the transfer of peacekeeping duties in Darfur to UN forces.

April 25 - The UN Security Council imposes sanctions on four Sudanese accused of abuses in Darfur, the first against individuals involved in the conflict.

April 30 - The Sudanese government accepts the African Union's proposal for peace in Darfur.