Thursday, February 23, 2006

President Wants NATO To Expand Darfur Role

Washington Post
February 23, 2006

President Bush told French President Jacques Chirac that NATO should take a more active role in international efforts to stop the bloodshed in Sudan's Darfur region, the White House said.

In a 30-minute telephone conversation initiated by Chirac, Bush "raised his concern about the deteriorating situation in Darfur and his view that NATO should be more actively involved in a robust international response to this crisis," said Frederick L. Jones II, spokesman for the National Security Council.

Bush said last week that NATO should have an organizational role and that the number of international peacekeepers in Darfur should be doubled.

The conflict in Darfur began when non-Arab rebels took up arms in early 2003, accusing the government of neglect and repression.

Since then, tens of thousands of Sudanese have been killed and more than 2 million have been driven from their homes and herded into grim camps.

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