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Bush calls Sudan crisis 'genocide'

By Jonathan Miller

Updated on 29 May 2007

George Bush imposed new US sanctions on Sudan and sought support for an international arms embargo out of frustration at Sudan's refusal to end what he called a genocide in Darfur.

"The people of Darfur are crying out for help, and they deserve it," Bush said. Accusing the Sudanese government of obstructing UN efforts to bring peace to Darfur, Bush said the US Treasury Department will bar 31 companies controlled by Sudan from doing business in the U.S. financial system.

The companies targeted included firms in Sudan's booming oil business and one that has been transporting weapons to the Sudanese government and militia forces in Darfur. Bush also imposed economic sanctions on four Sudanese individuals, including two senior Sudanese officials and a rebel leader suspected of involvement in the Darfur violence.

Khartoum criticized the sanctions before they were even formally announced.

"I think these sanctions are not justified. It is not timely. We are cooperating well with the United Nations," Mutrif Siddig, Sudanese undersecretary for foreign affairs, said.

The ratcheting up of US pressure coincides with a broader effort by UN officials to get Sudan to end the conflict that the United Nations says has killed more than 200,000 people and driven 2 million from their homes since 2003.

Khartoum says 9,000 have died and rejects accusations of genocide.

"My administration has called these actions by their rightful name: genocide. The world has a responsibility to help put an end to it," Bush said.

Background to the crisis

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