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Annan wants U.S. troops in Sudan

2/13/2006 9:46am

Last Updated Mon, 13 Feb 2006 09:50:00 EST
CBC News
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan makes a rare trip to Washington on Monday, where he will ask President George W. Bush to commit American troops to a major new operation.


UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. (AP file Photo)
Annan wants the United States and other countries with advanced militaries to form the backbone of a new, large and aggressive UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan, where an African Union force has failed to stop a three-year cycle of rebellion and civil war.

"Such a force will require the participation of governments with highly trained troops who are also well equipped," said Annan.

For almost three years, the civil war in western Sudan's Darfur region has defied solution.

The fighting between government-backed militias and rebel groups has killed as many as 300,000 and uprooted another two million. The region is in the grip of a humanitarian catastrophe.

The war has escalated and spread into neighbouring Chad.

An African Union force has intervened but lacks the numbers, and equipment has failed to make a difference.

Annan said it's time for a tougher aggressive approach.

"I would want to see a highly mobile force on the ground in Darfur ... and to be able to send a message to the militia and the people causing the damage that we have a force that is capable to respond," he said.

In his face-to-face meeting with Bush, Annan is likely to get a sympathetic hearing.

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