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Powell to wield diplomatic sticks over Darfur in landmark Sudan visit

US Secretary of State Colin Powell will be carrying a decidedly tough message when he makes a landmark visit to Sudan this week to press Khartoum to ease the worsening crisis in Darfur. Alarmed by reports of ethnic cleansing that some say constitutes “genocide” and deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the strife-torn western region, Powell will tell Sudanese officials they could face new sanctions unless the situation improves, US officials say. On Friday, the State Department said US travel and financial penalties will be imposed on leaders of Darfur’s pro-Khartoum Janjawid militias and identified seven individuals for possible war crimes prosecution. Full Story

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