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Vote on UN Darfur Resolution Expected Tuesday


The United Nations Security Council is expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution that would authorize up to 19-thousand new peacekeepers for Sudan's war-torn Darfur region.

Diplomats suggested ahead of the vote that the resolution will likely be approved following intense bargaining by council members.

The proposed U.N. peacekeeping troops would bolster an African Union force of 7,000 already in Darfur.

In a speech Tuesday at U.N. headquarters, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he and other leaders would work hard to deploy the peacekeepers quickly.

The draft resolution authorizes the use of force to protect U.N.-AU personnel and humanitarian workers. Sudan has said it rejects that mandate.

U.N. officials estimate the four-year conflict in Darfur has killed more than 200,000 people, and displaced two million more.

Sudan's government is accused of supporting militias blamed for atrocities in the region, including murder, rape and the destruction of villages. Sudanese officials deny those claims.

Last week, the co-sponsors of the resolution, Britain and France, dropped the threat of new sanctions against Sudan after objections from China and the three African members of the Security Council - South Africa, the Republic of Congo, and Ghana.

However, Mr. Brown said Tuesday that if killings in Darfur continue, he and others will "re-double" their efforts to impose further sanctions.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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