The International Criminal Court at The Hague says it will launch a formal investigation into war crimes committed in Sudan's western Darfur region.
The ICC made the announcement Monday. The probe is expected to be the court's biggest in its nearly three-year history.
Earlier this year, the United Nations referred a list of 51 suspected war criminals to the ICC. All are Sudanese officials or members of pro-government Arab militias who have been fighting Darfur rebels for more than two years.
Sudan says it will not hand over any suspects, saying war criminals will be tried inside the country. The United Nations estimates 180,000 people in Darfur have been killed during the conflict and two million others displaced.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.