Archive for Saturday, September 23, 2006

U.S. calls emergency session about Darfur

September 23, 2006

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— Violence is getting worse in Darfur despite international peace efforts, and Sudan's central government can no longer resist the world's will to send in peace forces, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday.

"Time is running out," the top U.S. diplomat told participants in an emergency international meeting on the three-year-old conflict in the African nation.

Rice called the meeting of about two dozen nations and international organizations on the sidelines of the United Nations opening session to push for a stronger international peace force despite objections from Sudan's government.

The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution last month that would expand the mission from 7,000 to more than 20,000 troops and give it new authority to protect civilians.

But Sudan's government vehemently opposes the introduction of U.N. forces in Darfur, where fighting between rebels and government-backed militias has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced 2.5 million since 2003. The U.N. has called it the world's worst humanitarian disaster, and the United States has labeled the attacks genocide.

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