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Bush Frustrated by Darfur


President Bush says he is frustrated by the pace of United Nations action to help civilians displaced by violence in Sudan's western Darfur region. Mr. Bush says the world body may have to send in troops despite objections from the government in Khartoum.

President Bush says he is troubled by reports of escalating violence in Darfur, where more than three years of fighting have killed an estimated 200,000 people.

While the U.N. Security Council has approved taking over peacekeeping operations from African Union forces, the United Nations has yet to deploy any troops because the government of Sudan objects.

Sudan says those A.U. troops will have to leave by the end of this month if they attempt to transfer their command to a force controlled by the U.N., which the government says wants to re-colonize Sudan.

President Bush told reporters in the White House Rose Garden that it is time for the U.N. to act, with or without Khartoum's consent.

"The problem is that the United Nations hasn't acted," said Mr. Bush. "And so I can understand why those who are concerned about Darfur are frustrated. I am. I would like to see more robust United Nations action. What you have here is, well, the government of Sudan must invite the United Nations in before we can act. Well, there are other alternatives. Like passing a resolution saying we are coming in with a U.N. force in order to save lives."

President Bush says the violence in Darfur, which has also displaced more than 2 million people, amounts to genocide. He wants U.N. troops with logistical support from the NATO alliance to establish security so a political resolution can be found to the fighting.

Sudan's government has recently begun an offensive against rebels in Darfur who refused to sign a May peace agreement.