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Powell to Visit Sudan's Darfur to Spotlight Crisis

Secretary of State Colin Powell will visit Sudan’s Darfur region next week to pressure Khartoum to stop the humanitarian crisis caused by government-backed militias attacking residents. The State Department said Powell will visit the capital, Khartoum, on Tuesday as well as the western region of Darfur, where U.S. officials accuse Khartoum-supported militias of “ethnic cleansing” against black Africans. Fighting in Darfur has driven more than 1 million people from their homes to other parts of Sudan and forced more than 150,000 to flee to neighboring Chad. About 2 million in the region need outside aid, according to U.N. figures. “The secretary will make clear our concern about the people in Darfur (and) will make clear that we believe that much of the hardship has been caused by the activities and the violence perpetrated by the militias,” State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told reporters. Full Story

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