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US Officials to Travel to Sudan to Promote Peace - 2001-11-28

The Bush administration is trying to help end Sudan's 18-year-old civil war, which has claimed an estimated two million lives. The U.S. effort will begin to intensify starting next week.

As part of the effort to help the Sudanese achieve peace, a team comprised of officials from the U.S. State Department, the Defense Department and the Agency for International Development will travel to Sudan late next week.

The visit follows that of U.S. Presidential envoy to Sudan, former Senator John Danforth, who was in the war-torn country last week. During his visit, he made several proposals aimed at testing the will for peace between the Sudanese government and southern rebels.

Mr. Danforth has said there is deep mistrust among the combatants, which includes the Islamic government in northern Sudan fighting against those in the south who are Christian or follow traditional African religions.

Mr. Danforth has said if it is determined there is no willingness to achieve peace in Sudan he would advise President Bush that it would be prudent for the U.S. to curtail any efforts regarding Sudan's civil war, which began in 1983.

Mr. Danforth has made a list of peace proposals, including an end to the aerial bombardment of civilian targets by the Sudanese air force and an end to the abduction of people to be used as slaves.