Thursday, June 07, 2007

Bush Considers No-Fly Zone For Sudan

Bush considers no-fly zone for Darfur

June 6, 2007 - 11:15PM

US President George W Bush says the United States may support the enforcement of a no-fly zone over Sudan's Darfur region to help put an end to the fighting there.

"We would consider that," Bush told reporters on the sidelines of a Group of Eight (G8) summit today when asked if a no-fly zone to stop the violence in Darfur was an option.

The United States and Britain have both threatened Sudan's government with tougher UN sanctions if Khartoum does not support international efforts to end the conflict in Darfur.

In London British Prime Minister Tony Blair was asked by a member of parliament what the G8 can do for the Sudanese people.

"I hope what they can expect is a recommitment to sanctions if the Sudanese government does not abide by the peace accord that has been set out, stop bombing their citizens," he said.

"The Sudanese government should also welcome in the hybrid Africa Union-United Nations force which is the only way we're going to keep the combatants apart," Blair said.

The UN security Council has imposed an arms embargo on rebels and militia but not on the government, although it forbids offensive military flights by Khartoum over Darfur, where more than 200,000 people are estimated to have died and at least two million people have been uprooted since 2003.

The United States and Britain have been working on an expanded UN sanctions resolution for weeks, but Russia and South Africa have questioned the timing and China has opposed further penalties.

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