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Bush, Darfur Rebel Leader Confer in Washington


President Bush has conferred with the leader of the main rebel group in Sudan's southern Darfur region, where more than three years of fighting has claimed about 200,000 lives.

The White House has not released any details of Mr. Bush's meeting Tuesday in Washington with Sudan Liberation Army leader, Minni Minawi.

But administration officials said Monday Mr. Bush and Mr. Minawi would discuss how to implement and broaden support for the recent Darfur peace agreement. The president and the rebel leader also were expected to discuss how to ensure the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers to Darfur.

Sudan's government is strongly opposed to a U.N. presence in the region.

The Sudan Liberation Army was the only rebel group to sign a peace agreement with the Sudanese government in May.

The pact has done little to stop violence in Darfur involving other rebel groups and Khartoum-backed Janjaweed Arab militias.

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