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Bush Pledges New Aid For Darfur

President Bush says he is asking Congress for $225 million in emergency food aid for Sudan's devastated Darfur region.

In a televised statement from the White House, the president also said he is sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday to push for accelerating the deployment of U.N. peacekeepers to the region.

Mr. Bush said he has asked Sudan's president Omar al Bashir to express clear support for such a U.N. force.

President Bush praised last week's peace agreement between the Khartoum government and Darfur's main rebel group. But he said Sudan is still far from the ultimate goal of returning home the millions of people displaced by violence.

The president urged the international community to contribute to aid and rebuilding efforts.

The United Nations has said that funding shortages would force it to cut food rations for more than six million people in Sudan. But Mr. Bush said Monday that U.S. aid pledges should prevent a shortfall.

He also said the United States would participate in an upcoming Dutch-led reconstruction conference for Sudan.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.