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US tightens sanctions against Sudan

By Xinhua

Washington : US President George W. Bush has said his government is beefing up its sanctions against Sudan although Khartoum has agreed to a joint African Union-UN force to end bloodshed in Darfur.

"The Department of Treasury is tightening existing economic sanctions against Sudan, and we're imposing additional ones," Bush said by satellite to the US Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting Wednesday.

In addition, he said, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "is working with our allies to draft a new UN Security Council resolution that will seek to impose new sanctions, expand an arms embargo, and prohibit Sudan's government from conducting offensive military flights over Darfur".

Bush made the remarks after Sudan, the African Union and the UN issued a joint statement Tuesday, saying Sudan had accepted the deployment of the hybrid AU-UN force for Darfur.

The AU, the UN and Sudanese officials started a closed-door consultative meeting in Addis Ababa Monday to discuss the deployment of a hybrid force of between 17,000 to 19,000 troops in Darfur.