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Negroponte Outlines Latest Efforts to Deal with Darfur Crisis

An estimated 200,000 people have died in the fighting in Darfur, Sudan. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, who recently returned from a tour of the region, discusses the newest political and diplomatic efforts to mitigate the violence.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    More than 200,000 people have died and more than 2 million people have been displaced in the ongoing conflict and genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. Last week, in a speech at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, President Bush renewed the threat of sanctions against the Sudanese government.

    For an update on the political and diplomatic efforts on the ground, we turn to Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, who has just returned from a tour of the region. He joins us from the State Department.

    Mr. Ambassador, welcome.

    JOHN NEGROPONTE, Deputy Secretary of State: Thank you.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    You have just returned. It's been nearly a year since last May's brokered agreement with the Sudanese government and the rebel groups there. What has happened since then?

  • JOHN NEGROPONTE:

    Well, I think, regrettably, Gwen, the situation has not improved. In fact, I visited an internally displaced person's camp in Darfur whose population had doubled since the signing of the peace accord last May.

    Security hasn't improved, either. The government has not disarmed these Arab militias, which could not exist without government support and financing. And there's been little progress towards the acceptance by the government of Sudan of additional international peacekeeping forces, which are really urgently needed to help stabilize the situation in the Darfur region.