Libya confirmed that the leaders of Sudan, Egypt, Chad and Nigeria would join Muammar Qaddafi for a "mini-summit" yesterday on Sudan's Darfur region, which the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis. \nThe summit will deal with security, ending the fighting, and getting humanitarian aid to people displaced by the violence, Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalqam said Saturday. \nThe violence has grown since February last year, when two rebel groups took up arms against the government. The conflict has since grown into a counterinsurgency in which pro-government Arab militiamen have raped and killed non-Arab villagers. \nRefugees \nNearly 1.5 million people have left their villages to flee the violence, and tens of thousands of people have died. Some refugees have crossed into neighboring Chad. \n"The summit is meant to discuss three issues: humanitarian aid to the displaced people, security, and reaching a final solution for the crisis," Shalqam said. \nA delegation of the smaller of Darfur's two rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement, traveled to Tripoli but will not be allowed to participate in the summit, which is only for heads of state, a foreign ministry official said on condition of anonymity. \nThe larger rebel group, the Sudan Liberation Army, indicated it would not attend the summit, although it said it had been invited. "We don't have time to go there without knowing why we're going there," said SLA spokesman Abdul Latif, based in Britain. \nThe summit was to begin on last night, after Muslims break their fast for the holy month of Ramadan. \nThe foreign ministers of all five countries were to prepare for the summit in meetings yesterday morning. \nIn Sudan, the government on Saturday questioned UN estimates that up to 70,000 people have died from hunger and disease in the Darfur region. \nDavid Nabarro, head of the World Health Organization (WHO) health crisis action group in Geneva, said on Friday the monthly death rate in Darfur was about 10,000, blaming malnutrition and disease. He said the figure of 70,000 did not take into account deaths from violence. \nUN data `incorrect' \nBut Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail said the information was not correct and when the government asked the WHO's Khartoum office for details, they said the information had not come from them. \n"When we checked with the office of the WHO here they told us they have no information. This information never came from them," Ismail said in Khartoum. "They are the ones who are on the ground here. They know what is going on." \nHe said the government would investigate whether the WHO was under pressure to issue false figures. \n"We are not going to leave these issues until they are tackled," he said. \nIn Geneva, a WHO spokeswoman said the figures announced on Friday were the best estimate based on available data.
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