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British PM Brown Urges Swift UN Action in Darfur


British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says the United Nations must take swift action on a resolution to send U.N. peacekeepers to Sudan's war-torn Darfur region. Victoria Cavaliere reports from VOA's New York Bureau the U.N. Security Council says it will take up the draft resolution later in the day Tuesday.

This is Mr. Brown's first visit to the United Nations since replacing Tony Blair as Britain's prime minister in June.

Brown told reporters the U.N. Security Council must make an immediate decision on a resolution authorizing up to 19,000 peacekeepers to help stop the violence in Darfur.

"This is the world coming together to say: we have a plan now, we expect the authorities in Sudan to act, we will not tolerate further inaction, and the violence has to stop now," he said.

The U.N. troops would join the 7,000 strong African Union force already in place in Darfur. The draft resolution was finalized Monday night. It does not contain the threat of sanctions against Sudan if it fails to rein in the janjaweed militia, which has been fighting ethnic African rebels. The conflict has left more than 200-thousand people dead and 2 million more displaced.

On the subject of Iraq, Brown said he will stand by Britain's commitments to the U.S.-led coalition.

"I've made it clear," he noted. "We've got duties to discharge. We've got responsibilities that we're going to keep. We're operating at the support of the Iraqi government and we're operating under the United Nations resolutions."

Earlier, Brown addressed the United Nations and urged governments, businesses and humanitarian organizations to help revive a stalled U.N. anti-poverty campaign.

Brown's U.N. visit followed a meeting with President Bush in Maryland, where he pledged Britain's support for military action in Iraq and Afghanistan and tough measures to tackle terrorism.

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