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Bush Urges Action On Sudan


President Bush is urging international action to stop the humanitarian crisis in Sudan's Darfur region. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports from the White House.

President Bush says he has been consulting with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on the need for action on Darfur.

"I spoke to the Secretary General of the United Nations about Sudan and how I think it is important to put the pressure on the respective parties to come up with an agreement that will help end the genocide," he said.

Sudan denies genocide is occurring in Darfur, where almost five years of fighting among rebels, militia and the government has killed an estimated 200,000 people.

The president says he told the secretary general that it is important for the United Nations to get troops into the troubled region as soon as possible.

"And of course we talked about the agreement between south and north Sudan and our desires to implement that agreement," said President Bush.

Speaking after talks at the White House with Ugandan President Yoweri Musevini, Mr. Bush said the United States is committed to peace and stability not just in Sudan but also in Somalia, where 1,500 Ugandan troops are deployed as part of an African Union peacekeeping mission.

In his brief comments, President Bush made no reference to the long running conflict in northern Uganda.

But later, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council said the matter did come up during today's talks. Spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Mr. Bush believes the situation in northern Uganda needs to be resolved sooner rather than later.

President Musevini kept his comments at the White House focused largely on economic and social issues. He made specific mention of efforts to expand trade between Africa and the United States, and the ongoing battles against malaria and AIDS.

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