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Darfur Conference Ends In Paris


A conference in Paris aimed at finding a solution to the crisis in Darfur has ended with an agreement to coordinate future measures in the troubled region. But as Anita Elash reports for VOA from Paris, most of the key players did not attend the gathering.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy started the day with a dramatic call to arms, telling delegations from more than 15 countries that "silence kills" and that the international community must say "enough is enough."

But the meeting ended an hour earlier than planned, and the delegates had little to announce.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the delegations had reaffirmed their support for current initiatives, including a planned joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force, and efforts to strike a political agreement between Khartoum and rebel groups.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the meeting had allowed countries to take stock and to plan solutions. She said the United States would continue to press for sanctions against Sudan.

"We can no longer afford a situation in Darfur in which agreements are made and then not kept," said Rice. "And so the U.S. will continue to argue that there must be consequences for Sudan if it does not live up to the obligations that it has undertaken."

There was some extra money for humanitarian aid. France pledged an additional $13 million and the European Union pledged $36 million.

The players most closely involved in the Darfur conflict were not at the conference. Sudan was not invited and members of the African Union refused to attend.

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