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Little progress made in talks on Darfur

The Baltimore Sun

PARIS -- They came, they met, they agreed that more must be done, but a gathering here aimed at solving the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region ended yesterday with little visible progress.

"We really must redouble our efforts, and I think that that was the spirit of today's conference," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said at a brief news conference after the day of closed meetings. "The point here was to take stock of where we are and to make sure that we are doing everything we can."

The French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, said the delegations from 18 countries had reaffirmed their support for a joint African Union and U.N. peacekeeping force as outlined in a deal reached with the Sudanese government this month.

But there was no announcement of which countries would contribute soldiers, nor was there any signal that China had softened its resistance to levying sanctions on Sudan, a measure that would require Chinese acquiescence to win approval from the Security Council.

Since early 2003, Arab militias known as the janjaweed have been raping and killing non-Arabs in Darfur.

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