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Rice: U.S. pushing for sanctions against Sudan

/ Source: The Associated Press

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday that the United States is pressing other countries to apply sanctions against Sudan to pressure Khartoum to accept a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Darfur region.

Rice expressed frustration at the international response to calls for sanctions.

“I am somewhat disappointed that some in the U.N. have already said that they are unwilling to think about sanctions,” she aid.

Rice said that the United States is considering unilateral steps in the face of the refusal by Sudan to accept a more robust peacekeeping force.

“Despite multiple efforts— and I want to underscore multiple efforts— to help find a solution that the government of Khartoum could accept in terms of getting a peacekeeping force in have been rebuffed,” she said.

Sudan made clear in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon circulated on Friday that it would not accept a proposal to send more than 3,000 U.N. military, police and civilian personnel, along with substantial aviation and logistical assets to beef up the 7,000-strong African Union force now on the ground in Darfur.

The country also raised objections to the final stage of a U.N. plan that calls for a 22,000-strong joint U.N.-AU peacekeeping mission.