Fourteen largely related stories from the past day that primarily update, most recently, Tuesday night's main batch--as well as Tuesday's separate batches concerning Ashraf Qazi and Suleiman Jamous (updated, on Thursday, to add the one from the "New York Times"; newer stories will appear in a subsequent post):
From the BBC...
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said [that] he was "shocked and humbled" by a visit to a refugee camp in Sudan's strife-torn Darfur region.
Mr Ban was cheered by refugees at the camp, but earlier he had faced a group of protesters at the UN's compound.
He said [that] plans to send a 26,000-strong peacekeeping force next year were "on good track", but urged the government to engage rebel factions in talks.
At least 200,000 people have died [and] more than 2 [million] have been displaced since 2003.
The Khartoum administration and pro-government Arab militias are accused of war crimes against the black African population.
'Poverty and hardship'
Thousands of refugees at Al Salaam camp, near El Fasher in North Darfur state, in North Darfur chanted "Welcome, welcome Ban Ki-Moon".
The South Korean diplomat told the crowds: "We must bring peace and development. We must protect human rights. We must help all of you return to your homes and lands."
After visiting the camp, which holds 48,000 people, Mr Ban said [that] he had wanted to use his position [in order] to give the refugees hope.
"I was so shocked and humbled when I visited [the] camps. I was shocked at the poverty and hardship [that] all these tens of thousands of people were undergoing," he said.
The BBC's Laura Trevelyan, travelling with the secretary general, said [that] he chatted to children and looked at their drawings.
The welcome was in stark contrast to his earlier visit to the UN compound in El Fasher, when protesters gathered shouting anti-UN slogans.
Most of the refugees in Darfur are black Africans - although reports suggested [that] those who staged the demo were chanting pro-government slogans in Arabic.
Mr Ban was due to meet leaders of a number of groups living in refugee camps at El Fasher, but changed his arrangements after the protests.
Our correspondent said [that] the protests were an illustration of how complicated the Darfur situation is.
Correspondents say [that] Mr Ban decided to visit because he wanted to understand the difficult conditions into which the world's biggest peacekeeping force would eventually be deployed.
He also wants to encourage the Sudanese government, which has finally accepted peacekeepers, while condemning the killings and getting political talks going.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says [that] he was "shocked and humbled" by his visit to a refugee camp in El Fasher in war-torn northern Darfur. He said [that] the visit has strengthened his resolve to end the war in Darfur. Lisa Schlein is traveling with the Secretary-General, and reports for VOA from Khartoum.
The UN [chief] had a full day of meetings with government officials, [and] tribal and civic leaders. He visited the site of the future headquarters for the 26,000-strong African Union/United Nations hybrid peacekeeping force. But, he says, he was particularly touched by what he saw during a brief visit to the El Salam camp, home to more than 45,000 internally displaced people.
"I was so shocked and humbled when I visited the IDP [internally displaced persons] camps," said Ban Ki-moon. "I was shocked at the poverty and hardship [that] all these tens of thousands of people [...] are undergoing. I really wanted to give them even a small hope, of silent hope, as the Secretary-General. I felt humbled by the limited resources and power."
Al Salem is one of three camps for IDPs in the El Fasher area. While there, the UN Secretary-General told a huge crowd of people who came out to greet him that he was bringing them a message of hope.
He pledged that the United Nations would help bring peace and protect their human rights. He said [that] he would do what he could to help all the internally displaced return to the homes [that] they were forced to flee.
Mr. Ban's visit was hurried and held under heightened security because of a security incident earlier in the day.
Demonstrations broke out when the Secretary-General arrived for a meeting with representatives of the three camps. A group of uninvited guests, mostly women, shouted in Arabic, "We don't care for UN! This is our country." The intrusion appeared orchestrated.
While the guards at the UN compound were disturbed by the incident, Mr. Ban says [that] he was not worried.
"I would not regard it as a protest against me, against the United Nations," he said. "All the people, as you have seen, a hundred-thousand people in Juba, and tens of thousands of people here in Darfur, all welcomed me, and they all welcomed and appreciated the United Nations. What they shouted at me, I would think that it was an expression of their frustration, an expression of their anger at why they had suffered."
Before leaving Al Fasher, Mr. Ban kept his promise to meet with the protesters. He said [that] he wanted to hear everybody's concerns.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says [that] it is crucial to begin the political process to end the crisis in Darfur. He says [that] he will push to get agreement on stepping up the pace of negotiations, in discussions with political and tribal leaders during a day-long visit to Darfur. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA on the secretary general's [...] first visit to El Fasher, Darfur.
A group of soldiers from Gambia welcomed the U.N. secretary-general to the headquarters of the African Mission in Sudan. Ban Ki-moon inspected the guard, to applause by AMIS soldiers who attended the colorful ceremony.
Before arriving in El Fasher, Ban told journalists traveling with him on a plane from Juba [that] the war in Darfur has gone on for far too long, and that the people have suffered far too much.
He says [that] a military solution, alone, will not work. That is why, he says, it is crucial to step up the political process.
"While we are now on a good track on deploying hybrid peacekeepers -- in fact, we have received more than what we are actually in need of, except those special areas like air transportation and other technical areas," said Ban. "This hybrid-operation process should be accompanied by a political process. Otherwise our peacekeepers, or police and civilian workers, will have much difficulty in carrying out their role. This is what I am going to do."
The U.N. Security Council has passed a resolution calling for the deployment of a 26,000-person hybrid force. The peacekeepers will be composed of troops from the African Union and the United Nations.
In meetings [that] he has lined up with leaders of the African Union, [and] the United Nations, [and with] tribal and civil representatives, Ban Ki-moon said [that] he will impress upon them the need to speedily deploy the troops to ensure security in Darfur.
Remarking on his trip to Juba [on] Tuesday, the secretary-general says [that] he was humbled when he saw the living conditions of people there. He says [that] they are living through a very difficult political situation, and [that] they need and deserve international support.
He says [that] he believes [that] peace in Darfur is linked to the successful implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended Sudan's civil war in 2005.
"I came to realize, much more than I thought in New York, the importance and urgency of a smooth implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement," said Ban. "It is crucially important that both South and North Sudanese leaders [...] fully cooperate on the basis of mutual trust, to cooperate and implement this CPA."
Political negotiations between the Sudanese government and eight key rebel groups are expected to begin in October. Ban says [that] an exact date and venue for the negotiations soon will be finalized.
From the AP...
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said [on] Wednesday [that] he was "shocked and humbled" by a visit to a Darfur refugee camp, where thousands cheered him as he pledged to step up efforts to bring peace to the war-torn region.
But the enthusiastic welcome from refugees at the Al Salaam camp was tempered by the earlier disruption of a meeting at a U.N. compound with representatives from three camps that heightened security fears, and by a small protest by well-dressed women shouting against the upcoming deployment of U.N. troops in a new 26,000-strong peacekeeping force in Darfur.
The secretary-general brushed aside the protests, saying [that] he understands the frustrations of the millions uprooted from their homes, and he pointed to the huge crowds that had come to see him in Darfur and in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, on his first trip to the country since taking the reins of the United Nations on Jan.1.
"They really wanted to see some hope from me, from the United Nations, from the international community," he said.
But Wednesday's incidents had an impact. Ban met with only three of the 30 camp representatives, his scheduled one-hour visit to Al Salaam was cut to 20 minutes, and the media pool accompanying him was cut from 37 to 5, because of security concerns.
As Ban's convoy rolled into the camp, home to 46,000 Darfur refugees, thousands chanted "Welcome! Welcome Ban Ki-moon!"
"I am here to bring you the message of hope, peace and security, and water," Ban told the crowd.
"We must bring peace and development. We must protect human rights. We must help all of you return to your homes and lands."
Later, he told reporters: "I was so shocked and humbled when I visited IDP (internally displaced people) camps. I was shocked at the poverty and hardship [that] all these tens of thousands of people were undergoing."
Ban promised to step up efforts to end the protracted conflict that has killed more than 200,000 people and [has] left more than 2.5 million displaced, and he urged the world to be more sympathetic to the millions whose lives have been uprooted.
"I really urge the international community to help them return to their homes and land, give them a sense of security, and bring peace as soon as possible. We must bring enduring peace, durable peace and security here," he said.
Ban said [that] he would raises these issues, and the protest, during a second round of talks [on] Thursday with Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir.
The scene at the camp contrasted with Ban's visit earlier [on] Wednesday to the U.N. compound in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur.
Ban told reporters [that] there was "some serious concern" when an univited group of men and women tried to push through the door to participate in the meeting with representatives of three camps for people uprooted from their homes. Security is exceedingly tight in Sudan, and it is unclear how they got so close to the secretary-general.
At the gates of the U.N. compound, a group of bejeweled women in high heels shouted in Arabic in what appeared to be an orchestrated event, "We don't care for UN! This is our country!, You want to destroy us!, We will not allow you here in Darfur!"
Ban was scheduled to meet North Darfur governor Mohamed Kebir on arrival at the heavily guarded El Fasher airport, but their meeting was rescheduled to the governor's compound.
A man who identified himself to the Sudanese media as Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed gave Ban a letter urging the United Nations to help returning Darfur refugees resettle in their original villages.
"We are being helped by the state party," chanted some pro-government demonstrators, who said [that] they came from the large refugee camps that circle El Fasher.
Neither the letter nor the demonstrators mentioned the key concern keeping the millions of refugees from leaving the camps to return home — a lack of security, which is a key reason for the deployment of the African Union-U.N. hybrid force.
When Kebir was asked after his meeting with Ban whether the government was anxious to get people home, and what security guarantees [that] it would be offering to those who leave the overcrowded camps, he said [that] "many conditions are now ripe" for the voluntary return of people to their villages.
Ban said [that] security was improving — but he told reporters [that] there still is not full security and peace in Darfur, so "we must continue to protect (the displaced) and provide the security," especially in the camps.
Throughout the day, there was wide speculation that Ban's trip to the camp would be called off because of security concerns. Two Sudanese journalists received calls from people in Khartoum who said [that] violent clashes had broken out at Al Salaam camp.
The secretary-general's brief visit to the Al Salaam camp went ahead later than scheduled under tight security, and there were no signs of violence.
But U.N. deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe said [that] there were reports of some violent clashes afterwards, though she had no details.
Most of the refugees who greeted Ban appeared to be supporters of Abdel Wahid Nur, who leads a major faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement group and remains the key holdout in getting all rebel groups and the government back to the negotiating table.
At every opportunity, the secretary-general stressed the importance of reaching a political settlement and deploying the AU-U.N. hybrid force quickly.
He said [that] the planned deployment of the hybrid force was now on a "good track" and [that] "it is crucially important that a political negotiation process start now."
Ban said [that] he will shortly announce the venue and date for new negotiations, likely in October.
AU officials who briefed Ban on Wednesday said [that] they told him [that] the beleaguered AU force now in Darfur has less then 6,000 peacekeepers deployed in a region nearly the size of France — down from its authorized strength of 7,000. AU officials said [that] the groundwork for deploying the hybrid force is on schedule, but [that] it is not expected to start arriving in Darfur until early next year.
Thousands of displaced Sudanese mobbed U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday, as he visited their camp in the troubled Darfur region on a tour aimed at pressing for a political solution to the conflict.
Ban's convoy sped through al-Salam camp in North Darfur state, but stopped to let him address crowds who chanted "Welcome Ban Ki-moon" and waved banners supporting a rebel chief.
Dressed in open-necked shirt and blue U.N. baseball cap, the U.N. secretary-general told a crowd: "We must protect human rights. We must help all of you return to your homes and land."
Ban told journalists on the trip [that] he had made good progress in organising a date and venue for long-promised peace talks expected to take place in October between the government of Sudan and Darfur's splintered rebel groups.
"I am really going to step up this political negotiation process," Ban said, adding that he wanted to build the foundations for the deployment of a 26,000-strong "hybrid" force of U.N. and African Union peacekeepers.
"The hybrid-troop process should be accompanied by a political process. Otherwise our peacekeepers or police or civilian workers will have a lot of difficulty in carrying out their roles," he said.
UN officials said [that] Ban's trip to al-Salam camp had been so quick because his security team had been unnerved by two disruptions to his visit earlier in the day.
His meeting with leaders of displaced groups in state capital El Fasher was disrupted when 20 people tried to barge in, saying [that] they represented other displaced communities. They were ordered out, and the meeting was moved to another venue.
Ban played down the incident, telling journalists: "You cannot expect all four million internally displaced persons to have the same views." He later met the ejected group.
The secretary-general was earlier handed a petition by a small group claiming to represent people displaced by the conflict, calling on him to support a government-backed policy to encourage displaced Darfuris to return to their villages.
Most displaced groups in Darfur have opposed this policy, saying [that] continued hostilities would make returning too hazardous.
PORTRAITS OF REBEL LEADER
Most of the refugees who greeted Ban appeared to be supporters of the founder of the rebel Sudan Liberation Army, Abdel Wahed Mohamed el-Nur, who has said [that] he will not go to talks until an international force is in place.
African Union troops held back the crowds who waved banners bearing Abdel Wahed's portrait and the messages: "No violence in the camps" and "Disarm the Janjaweed", referring to a name for militias blamed for much of Darfur's violence.
Ban's stop at a UNICEF-funded water tower underlined his belief that water shortages linked to global warming are one of the factors in the conflict. He told the crowd: "I am here to bring you a message of hope, peace and security -- and water."
He met officials from the African Union Mission in Sudan, the force [that] the hybrid troops will replace when they arrive.
They said they briefed him on serious underfunding of the mission, adding that while the official strength of the AU force in Darfur is 7,000, there are now 5,915 troops on the ground.
International experts estimate [that] some 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been driven from their homes during the more than four years of fighting in Darfur. Sudan puts the death toll from the conflict, which flared when rebel groups took up arms against the government charging it with neglect, at 9,000.
A senior U.N. official travelling with Ban said [that] there had been progress in finalising arrangements to fly a sick Darfur rebel out of Sudan to receive medical treatment in Kenya.
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir gave Ban a pledge on Monday that Suleiman Jamous would be able to leave effective house arrest, as soon as arrangements could be made.
In Khartoum on Wednesday, the government-backed Popular Defence Forces militia, blamed for much of the violence in Darfur, said [that] it would accept a hybrid force as long, as it stays within its mandate. It had vowed last year to treat any U.N. force as an invading army in a state of war with Khartoum.
Its announcement on Wednesday brings its position into line with that of the government, which agreed to the force in July, after long negotiations over the details.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon continued his visit to Sudan on Wednesday, with a stop at the al-Salim refugee camp in the Darfur region [in order] to get a view for himself of the conditions of the civilian population there.
Ban praised Sudanese President Omar Beshir, who agreed to support Ban's efforts toward a ceasefire and the start of political talks.
A UN spokesman in New York confirmed that the UN head had invited the parties in the conflict to joint talks in New York to take place [on] September 21, with Khartoum represented by Foreign Minister Lam Akol.
Ban had on Tuesday in the southern Sudanese city of Juba called for peace, urging the Sudanese parties that ended the civil war between the Islamic north and [the] Christian south to implement peace agreements [that] they signed two years ago.
On Tuesday evening, Ban named as new special envoy to Sudan, Ashraf Qazi, a Pakistani diplomat who has represented the United Nations in Iraq since 2004. He is to take over from Dutchman Jan Pronk, who a year ago was censured by the Beshir government.
In addition, Beshir agreed to release Suleiman Jamous, a high-ranking officer of the rebel Sudan Liberation Army organization. Ban characterized Jamous as an experienced negotiator who could play an important role in the Darfur peace talks.
Fighting between government troops and various militias in the Darfur region in the country's west has left at least 2.5 million people homeless. In the four years of continuous conflict, at least 200,000 people have been killed.
Ban in the past has declared that he would make Darfur a priority of his work.
During his Africa tour - which is to include a visit to Chad and Libya at the weekend - Ban is attempting to set up conditions for the speedy deployment of peacekeeping troops from the United Nations and the African Union in 2008. With an expected deployment of 26,000 troops, it would be the largest contingent of UN troops anywhere.
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon visited the strife-torn Sudanese region of Darfur [on] Wednesday, admitting [that] the international community has not done enough to end four years of war and human suffering.
Ban, who is in Sudan [in order] to jumpstart the Darfur peace process, ahead of a massive UN-African Union peacekeeping operation, arrived in the North Darfur capital of Al-Fasher [in order] to witness firsthand the plight of those displaced by the conflict.
"For too long the international community has stood by, as seemingly helpless witnesses. That is now changing," Ban had said in a speech in the southern Sudanese capital of Juba on Tuesday.
The UN Secretary General has been pushing for negotiations alongside the peacekeeping operation, and said [that] details were being worked out for talks between the Khartoum government and Darfur rebel groups that did not sign a troubled May 2006 peace agreement.
"As far as the political negotiation process is concerned, we are coming close to agreeing on a venue and [a] date," Ban told reporters travelling with him. "I hope [that] I'll be able to finalise it very soon."
A UN official said on condition of anonymity that the talks were likely to take place in October, "somewhere in Africa, perhaps in Tanzania."
After talks with the governor of North Darfur, Ban was met by a small demonstration, as he made his way to the UN mission headquarters for discussions with representatives of the more than two million displaced people in Darfur.
Several dozen men and women, who said [that] they too had been driven from their homes, protested at being excluded from the talks.
"Darfur is ours," they shouted. "We want to be represented."
The soft-spoken UN chief reassured the demonstrators [that] he was ready to listen to anyone, before being ushered away by his security detail.
After a brief delay, Ban resumed his schedule, including a meeting with three representatives of the displaced, and another with civil-society and traditional leaders, the UN said in a statement.
Later during a visit to the Al-Salam camp near Al-Fasher, Ban was greeted by refugees chanting the name of Abdel Wahid Nur, the rebel leader still refusing to take part in negotiations with Khartoum.
Nur boycotted peace talks at the Tanzanian city of Arusha [last] month, where eight rebel groups agreed [on] a common platform for peace talks with the Sudan's government, sponsored by the UN and the African Union. Ban called on Nur to join the political process.
The UN estimates that at least 200,000 people have died in Darfur since an uprising launched by ethnic minority rebels in 2003 drew a scorched-earth response from the Sudanese military and allied militias.
The International Criminal Court's prosecutor has called on the UN to pressure Sudan to bring to justice two suspects wanted over atrocities committed in Darfur, a conflict [that] the United States has described as genocide.
Ban has made Darfur his top priority since taking office in January, and is seeking to ensure that the 26,000-strong UN-AU force can be deployed quickly [in order] to protect civilians who bear the brunt of the violence.
The hybrid force was agreed [to] by the UN Security Council on July 31, after months of intense diplomacy, but it is not expected to be fully deployed before mid-2008.
Ban told journalists [that] he had obtained Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir's "commitment and readiness" to clear the way for the deployment of UN peacekeepers, and said that "time is of the essence" as fighting continues.
In a potential boost to peace efforts, Ban said [that] Beshir had promised to allow key rebel leader Suleiman Jamous to leave Sudan and seek medical attention, after which the veteran could act as mediator.
A high-ranking UN official said [that] Jamous was still in Sudan, "but we hope to get him out today (Wednesday)."
The UN chief arrived in Darfur from south Sudan, where he sought to consolidate a 2005 peace deal that ended two decades of civil war in Africa's largest nation.
"It is crucially important that we implement the (peace deal)... it is important that the leaders of both the north and the south be fully committed," Ban said in Juba, headquarters for a 10,000-strong UN force charged with overseeing the uneasy peace.
Both the southern Sudan conflict and the violence gripping Darfur have their roots in the local populations' deep-seated feelings of being marginalised by Beshir's Islamist government.
Power- and wealth-sharing provisions in the 2005 deal with the southern former rebels are seen as a potential blueprint for a Darfur deal.
A UN official travelling with Ban described south Sudan as being in "a fragile state", and warned that any collapse of the peace deal there would be "a nightmare" that would have an enormous knock-on effect on Darfur.
Pledging a message of “hope, peace, security… and water,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today [Wednesday] met with some of the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Darfur, and held talks with the leaders of the imminent hybrid United Nations-African Union peacekeeping force in the strife-torn Sudanese region.
Mr. Ban spoke with Rodolphe Adada, the Joint UN-AU Special Representative to Darfur and the head of the current AU mission to the region (known as AMIS), after arriving earlier today in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters. Mr. Adada will then head the hybrid force (UNAMID) once it takes over from AMIS at the end of this year.
Mr. Ban held talks as well with the current AMIS Force Commander, Maj.-Gen. Martin Agwai, who will also fulfil the same role with UNAMID, and both the Commander and Mr. Adada briefed the Secretary-General on the work of AMIS and the latest security developments in Darfur.
In July, the Security Council authorized the creation of UNAMID to try to quell the fighting in Darfur, an impoverished and remote region on Sudan’s western flank. More than 200,000 people have been killed since 2003 because of fighting between rebel groups, Government forces, and allied militia known as the Janjaweed. At least 2.2 million others have had to flee their homes, living either as IDPs within Sudan or as refugees in neighbouring countries.
During his visit to El Fasher, which followed earlier stops on this trip in the national capital, Khartoum, and the southern city of Juba, Mr. Ban also met the Wali (or Governor) of North Darfur.
He then went to a meeting at the El Fasher headquarters of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) with representatives of IDPs who had been self-selected from local camps.
When Mr. Ban arrived, according to a statement issued by his spokesperson, security precautions had to be taken when a group of uninvited people tried to force their way into the meeting. But after a brief delay, the Secretary-General was able to resume his schedule and meet with the IDP representatives and with civil-society groups and traditional leaders.
During a subsequent visit to the nearby Al Salim IDP camp, Mr. Ban – who received a warm welcome from thousands of IDPs at the camp – told the locals [that] he brought with him a message of “hope, peace, security… and water.”
Sudan is the first leg of Mr. Ban’s current trip to Africa. He will then travel to neighbouring Chad and Libya.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, is visiting Sudan's war-torn Darfur region in an attempt to accelerate moves towards peace.
Ban, who has made solving the conflict a priority since taking office in January, is attempting to ensure [that] conditions are right for an early deployment of a joint UN and African Union peacekeeping force to Darfur.
"For too long the international community has stood by, as seemingly helpless witnesses. That is now changing," Ban said in a speech to a university in the southern Sudanese capital of Juba.
The UN chief has been on a visit to Sudan since [Monday].
Ban arrived at a refugee camp at Al-Fasher on Wednesday for a first-hand look at the humanitarian situation.
The secretary-general was handed a petition by a small group claiming to represent people displaced by the conflict.
It called for Ban to support a government-backed policy to encourage displaced Darfuris to return to their villages.
Mohammed Adow, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Sudan, said [that] the visit comes amid fighting between rival Arab tribes and reports of division among anti-government groups in Darfur.
"The Arab tribes are fighting each other, but the rebel groups are also splintering. They don't share one vision for Darfur," he said.
Adow said that displaced people sheltering at the al-Salam camp near the town of al-Fahser were desperate to return to their homes.
"[The camp at Al-Fasher] is a place where more people are coming to, following the new fighting," he said.
"The people at the camp want to go back to the villages, restart their lives, rear livestock, and grow their crops. The new conflict is not encouraging them at all."
After his visit to the camp, Ban is due to return to Khartoum on Thursday, ahead of meetings with Sudan's neighbours Chad and Libya.
The UN secretary general said [that] he had urged Omar Hassan al-Bashir, Sudan's president, to help in the planned deployment of a hybrid UN-AU peacekeeping force.
Ban said that al-Bashir had replied that his government would provide "all necessary administrative and logistical support".
"Time is of the essence. The government's co-operation is essential on a range of practical matters," Ban said.
During his visit, Ban is also seeking to bolster a 2005 peace deal that ended two decades of civil war in Sudan, which has become increasingly fragile of late.
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in January 2005 to end 21 years of war between the Muslim north and [the] Christian and animist south that killed at least two million people and displaced millions more.
"It is crucially important that we implement the CPA ... it is important that the leaders of both the north and the south be fully committed," Ban said in Juba.
A senior UN official travelling with Ban said there were "worrying signals" about the implementation of the peace deal, including delays in the promised pullout of government troops from the south.
The UN official said: "There are a number of signs that show there is a need to push the CPA forward.
"Both sides have indicated their commitment to the agreement, but it is important not to let it slip."
In Juba, Ban held talks with Salva Kiir, Sudan's [first] vice-president and a former rebel leader who took over as head of the Sudan People's Liberation Army in July 2005.
In a separate development, Ban announced [that] he has appointed Ashraf Qazi, currently UN envoy to Iraq, as his new special representative for Sudan, replacing Jan Pronk.
Ban cited Qazi's "wide and extensive diplomatic experience" in naming him to the post.
Pronk was expelled from Sudan in October 2006 for criticising the army over its conduct against Sudanese rebels.
The UN secretary-general has seen first-hand what he has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis, and says [that] the visit made his "resolve stronger and firmer to work for peace and security in Darfur".
Ban Ki-moon's visit to the al-Salaam camp in North Darfur that houses 46,000 refugees was met by thousands of cheering refugees on Wednesday.
"We must bring peace and development. We must protect human rights. We must help all of you return to your homes and lands," Ban told the crowd in the camp.
'Sign of hope'
Later, he told reporters: "I was so shocked and humbled when I visited IDP [internally displaced people] camps. I was shocked at the poverty and hardship [that] all these tens of thousands of people were undergoing.
"I really wanted to give them even a small sign of hope, as secretary-general."
The scene at the refugee camp was a stark contrast to his visit earlier in the day to the UN compounded in al-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, when he was disrupted by an uninvited group of about a dozen people who shouted slogans in Arabic.
"We don't care for UN! This is our country!" the group of mostly women shouted in what appeared to be an orchestrated event. "You want to destroy us. We will not allow you here in Darfur."
The clamor raised security concerns, forcing Ban to change part of his schedule on Wednesday, but not stopping him from promising to step up efforts to end the protracted conflict that has killed more than 200,000 people and left more than 2.5 million displaced.
"I really urge the international community to help them return to their homes and land, give them a sense of security, and bring peace as soon as possible. We must bring enduring peace, durable peace and security here," he said.
Ban said [that] he would discuss what he saw at the camp during talks on Thursday with Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's president, and other officials in Khartoum.
The UN and the African Union are pressing to deploy a 26,000-strong joint peacekeeping force in Darfur and [to] restart peace negotiations between the government and splintered rebel groups.
Mohammed Adow, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Sudan, said [that] Ban's visit comes amid fighting between rival Arab tribes and reports of division among anti-government groups in Darfur.
But Ban says [that] he is confident [that] he can secure peace talks with rebel factions, before the peacekeeping mission begins.
The UN Security Council in July unanimously approved the peacekeeping mission, which, if fully deployed, would be the world's largest operation of its kind, to help end four years violence in the vast western Sudan desert region.
Sudan has in the past resisted the push for UN peacekeepers to replace the overwhelmed African Union force in Darfur.
Ban said earlier in his Sudan trip that al-Bashir has accepted the deployment of the joint UN-AU force, but many are wary of al-Bashir's past record.
AU officials say [that] the groundwork for deploying the joint force is on schedule for it to be deployed early next year.
Security has been beefed up at the offices of the UN mission in El Fashir, Darfur, where UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon was expected to hold talks with representatives of the Darfur's displaced persons.
This follows the storming of the venue by a group of uninvited people who wanted to be part of the meeting. Demonstrations are being held outside the hall. The protesters say [that] the UN is only meeting one side, which has been sent by the Sudanese government.
The media has been denied entry to the venue.
Ban Ki-moon has acknowledged that the international community has not done enough to end four years of war and human suffering in the Sudanese region of Darfur. He arrived earlier today [Wednesday] in the war-torn region on a three-day visit to the area. He is expected to push for the full implementation of the comprehensive peace agreement, which was signed in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, in 2005 [sic].
The senior U.N. official in Iraq will play a key role in attempting to stop a civil war in another international hot spot — Sudan's western region of Darfur.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday [Tuesday] appointed Ashraf Jehangir Qazi as special representative for Sudan, a job that has been vacant for nearly a year.
Mr. Qazi, who has served in Baghdad since 2004, will take up his new post later this month, U.N. officials said.
He is to be replaced in Iraq by his deputy, Staffan de Mistura, of Sweden, who has served in U.N. positions in Lebanon.
Citing Mr. Qazi's "wide and extensive diplomatic skills and experience," Mr. Ban announced his decision during a visit to the southern Sudanese capital of Juba at a joint press conference with First Vice President Salva Kiir.
Mr. Kiir is the de facto leader of the autonomous region of Southern Sudan and successor to longtime southern Sudanese leader Col. John Garang, who was killed in a plane crash.
As Mr. Ban's representative, Mr. Qazi will be overseeing U.N. diplomatic efforts regarding Darfur, as well as the ongoing battle for self-governance and resources in Southern Sudan.
Both conflicts have spawned elaborate peace efforts involving the government and rebel groups, but neither is close to resolution.
Nearly 10,000 U.N. peacekeepers maintain the tense border between north and south Sudan, while the world body is preparing to send about 26,000 peacekeepers, mostly African soldiers and police officers, to Darfur.
The United Nations is also delivering humanitarian assistance to both regions, and has promised to implement development programs when stability allows.
Mr. Ban's delegation will move on to Darfur today [Wednesday], [in order] to survey the inhospitable landscape where peacekeepers will patrol.
Mr. Ban, who has made Darfur one of his priorities, is in the middle of his first trip to the region.
On Monday, he met with Sudanese President Omar Bashir in Khartoum [in order] to seek his continued cooperation with the Darfur mission.
Mr. Ban is also slated to meet Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and President Idriss Deby of Chad.
Mr. Qazi, 65, has previously served as Pakistan's ambassador to Russia, the former East Germany, Syria, and China. He was ambassador to Washington from 2002 to 2004.
His predecessor, Jan Pronk, was expelled by the Sudanese government last October, after he criticized the army on the Internet.
Darfur has become an international symbol of human-rights abuses, the rallying point for those who think that the international community has an obligation to intervene when a government endangers or refuses to protect its citizens.
The 12,000 aid workers in Darfur are experiencing the same hardships as the people [whom] they've been sent to help.
"Daily attacks, banditry, lawlessness, and other violence affect aid workers just as they affect the people of Darfur," assistant U.N. relief coordinator Margareta Wahlstrom told reporters on Friday.
In four years of violence, the U.N. estimates that 230,000 have been killed and about 2.3 million [have been] uprooted from their homes.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, came face to face with the realities of bringing peace to Darfur yesterday when his first trip to the region met with protests and fears for his safety.
Rival groups of protesters, some supporting the Sudanese government and others a rebel group that rejects the UN peace process, disrupted his visit to meet displaced people and see their overcrowded desert camps.
The day's drama began when several women demonstrators infiltrated a UN compound in northern Darfur and shouted Mr Ban down, before he could meet refugee leaders.
After appeals failed to calm the women, anxious UN security guards escorted Mr Ban away. A planned walk to a nearby UN compound was cancelled because other protesters were standing in the street shouting. The women were ejected from the compound and told reporters [that] they were angry because the people at the meeting were not homeless and displaced but representatives of various anti-government groups, including opposition parties in Khartoum and Darfur rebel movements.
Well-dressed with gold jewellery, white robes and high heels, the women admitted [that] they were not villagers or themselves displaced. They said [that] Mr Ban should meet people of all kinds of people in Darfur, if the UN wanted unity and peace. "The people at the meeting are not from the camps, but they refuse the government and speak against the government. We are here to speak the truth," one protester said.
Mr Ban's spokesman put out a statement later, saying [that] "a group of uninvited people showed up and tried to force their way into the meeting".
Mr Ban later met the displaced people's leaders, but plans for the press to talk to them were cancelled.
In the afternoon UN security officials became alarmed after protesters representing Abdul Wahid al-Nur, a rebel leader who has refused to join other rebels in preparing for negotiations with the government, started carrying his picture and congregating on Mr Ban's planned route through the as-Salam camp, shortly before Mr Ban was due to arrive.
Hundreds of Mr Nur's supporters live in the camp, and security officials were worried [that] they could block the secretary general. After anxious discussions, Mr Ban overruled his officials and went ahead, ploughing into an atmosphere described by one independent eyewitness as "festive but excitable". Ululating women with pictures of Mr Nur shouted: "Welcome, welcome, Ban Ki-moon." Others shouted: "Welcome, welcome, USA," a hint that they would prefer US troops to the beefed-up African Union and UN force that will deploy here next month.
Mr Ban told the women [that] he felt "humbled and shocked". "We must help you to return to your homes and lands. The UN stands ready to help you," he said.
Last month Salim Salim, the African Union's special envoy for Darfur, had to beat a hasty retreat from as-Salam camp when some residents became aggressive. The same happened when [Sir] John Holmes, the UN's emergency-relief coordinator, visited the camp recently.
UN officials deliberately chose to organise the secretary general's visit to the camp in the heat of the afternoon, when many of its male residents would be away at work on in the nearby town of El Fasher.
They were also hoping to reap dividends from Mr Ban's success in persuading Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, this week to agree to let Suleiman Jamous, a key Darfurian rebel leader, fly to Kenya under UN protection for medical treatment. He has been in a UN field hospital in southern Sudan for several months, unable to leave for fear of arrest.
But there was anxiety over how people in southern Sudan would react to Mr Ban's announcement that the new UN head of mission to Sudan is to be Ashraf Qazi, the current UN envoy to Iraq. Mr Qazi is a Muslim from Pakistan.
The head of government in southern Sudan, Salva Kiir, was said by UN officials to be upset when Mr Ban told him on Tuesday. He and his colleagues fear [that] Mr Qazi may sympathise with his fellow Muslims in Khartoum.
Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations, ran into protests and delays on Wednesday, as he sought to visit residents of camps for people driven from their homes by the violence in Darfur.
He ended his day, however, with a rousing welcome at a camp, Al Salam, where thousands of the 48,000 residents cheered and chanted, “Welcome, welcome, Ban Ki-moon.”
The biggest disruption occurred at a morning meeting when a crowd of uninvited people shouted pro-government slogans and banged on the doors of a United Nations compound where Mr. Ban was seeing people from the three major camps here. Many of the protesters entered the compound, prompting security crackdowns at later events.
When he was asked at an evening news conference for his reaction to the event, he said: “I would not regard this as a protest against me, against the United Nations. What they shouted at me, I would think that it’s pressure of their frustration, it’s pressure of their anger, why they have suffered that much.”
He acknowledged that “there was some serious concern when they really wanted to push through the door [in order] to participate in that meeting.” Still, he added: “It was unexpected, but I was not surprised. I thought that that kind of complaint, of protest, would happen.”
A man unexpectedly approached Mr. Ban as he went to a meeting with the powerful governor of North Darfur, Osman Mohamed Kibir. The man handed Mr. Ban a petition supporting the government-backed policy of encouraging displaced people from Darfur to vacate the camps and return to their villages.
Most fear returning, saying [that] their lives are endangered by the lack of security in their villages.
Mr. Ban, a fastidious and formal man with a reputation for modesty, is gaining an ingratiating public manner, and he shed his tie and donned a baseball cap in United Nations peacekeeper blue [in order] to address the throng at Al Salam.
He told the crowd that he was close to declaring a place and time for a peace conference he had proposed on Darfur involving regional leaders. “I’m really going to step up this political negotiations process,” he said.
He also said [that] he was “humbled and shocked” by the level of poverty [that] he saw.
Many in the camp held signs identifying themselves as supporters of Abdel Wahid al-Nur, the only one of eight rebel leaders to boycott a three-day meeting last month in Arusha, Tanzania. That forum was arranged by the United Nations and the African Union [in order] to try to bring feuding groups together, so that negotiations with the Khartoum government could proceed.
Protesters at the morning meeting chanted, “We don’t care for the U.N.” and “Darfur is ours.” They complained that the invited leaders of the refugee camps had been overly critical of the government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
“They speak against this government, and now we are here to tell the truth,” said a demonstrator, a well-dressed woman in jewelry and high heels who acknowledged that she did not live in the camps.
The United Nations and other international groups have implicated Mr. Bashir’s government in supporting the four-year campaign of violence in Darfur that has caused more than 200,000 deaths and [has] left 2.5 million people homeless.
Mr. Ban scheduled a meeting with President Bashir for Thursday. He said [that] he intended to bring up the harassment on Wednesday in El Fasher.
Mr. Ban’s news conference was at the headquarters being built here [El Fasher] for the joint African Union-United Nations force of 26,000 soldiers and police officers that will soon take over the protection of civilians in Darfur from an overwhelmed African Union force of fewer than 6,000 people.
Mr. Bashir has argued that the force should be all African, and he has received support for that position, to the United Nations’ alarm, from Alpha Oumar Konaré, the African Union chairman.
A senior officer of the African Union force who briefed reporters on Wednesday but insisted that his name not be used said that while there were already enough offers from African nations to staff the infantry, the force needed specialized assistance beyond the capacities of African armies.
“We will have to rely on the developed world for force-multipliers like transport and air capacity,” he said.