President Bush is calling for greater international pressure on Sudan to end the violence in the war-torn Darfur region. Mr. Bush spoke after a meeting with his special envoy to Sudan, Andrew Natsios.
President Bush says it is time for the nations of the world to unify behind one plan to pressure the Sudanese government, and end the suffering in Darfur.
"The United States is going to work with the international community to come up with a single plan on how to address this issue and save lives," said President Bush.
Mr. Bush says the plan must include deployment of a U.N. administered peacekeeping force capable of ending the bloodshed, a condition already rejected by the Sudanese government.
"One element of the plan is something I have strongly supported all along. And that is there needs to be a credible and effective international force to go into Darfur to save lives, to make it clear that the international community respects human life and the international community will work in concert to save human life," he added.
President Bush spoke after a report from Andrew Natsios on his 10-day trip to Sudan. The president called it a grim assessment of the human condition, and stressed the situation in Darfur is very much on his mind.
"The people who suffer there need to know that the United States will work with others to solve the problem and the government of Sudan must understand that we are serious when you deliver a message to them, on behalf of our government, that we are earnest and serious about their necessity to step up and work with the international community," he explained.
Rebels in Darfur launched an uprising in 2003, accusing Sudan's central government of neglecting the region. Since then, fighting in Darfur has left an estimated 200,000 people dead and two million displaced from their homes.