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Secretary Rice Says World Failed In Darfur Crisis

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the international community has failed in its responsibility to end killings and other violence in Sudan's Darfur region.

Rice is in Paris for an international conference Monday on Darfur that includes representatives from the United Nations, China, Egypt, the Arab League, and the European Union.

Rice said she welcomes what she called the fresh energy that France's new government has put to the Darfur cause. She said the world must keep pressuring on Sudan to follow through with its pledge to accept about 20,000 peacekeepers in a U.N. and African Union force.

But Sudan says it opposes today's conference arguing that any new initiatives could undermine current Darfur peace efforts.

The AU currently has about 7,000 peacekeepers in Darfur who have not able to stop the region's rampant violence.

The U.N. estimates that some 200,000 people have died and about two million displaced since rebels launched an uprising in Darfur four years ago. Sudan says those figures are exaggerated.

Sudan also denies accusations that it supports militias that have attacked villages and killed civilians in the region.

President Bush has labeled the situation in Darfur a genocide.

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