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U.S. to impose additional unilateral sanctions on Sudan - 1

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WASHINGTON, May 29 (RIA Novosti) - Washington will introduce additional sanctions against Sudan's government unilaterally, the U.S. president said Tuesday.

"The United States will not avert our eyes from a crisis that challenges the conscience of the world," George Bush said.

A U.S. Treasury Department representative said the sanctions are aimed against three Sudanese officials, including a rebel leader, as well as 30 Sudanese government-run companies dealing with oil supplies, and against Azza Air Transport Company, which, the department said, delivered small arms, ammunition and artillery to Sudanese government troops and Janjaweed rebels in Darfur.

The measures were taken to make the African state's government take specific actions to settle the humanitarian and political crisis in Darfur.

Bush sent Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to hold consultations with the U.K. and other allies on possible UN Security Council sanctions against Sudan.

The U.S. has demanded that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir allow the deployment of joint UN and African Union countries' peacekeeping formations on Sudanese territory, stop supporting militants and allow humanitarian organizations to operate normally in Darfur.

In March 2007, the UN mission accused Sudan's government of orchestrating and taking part in "gross violations" in Darfur and called for urgent international action to protect civilians.

Khartoum has objected to an August 2006 UN resolution that called for a UN mission to replace the ill equipped and poorly funded 7,000 strong African Union peacekeeping force, currently deployed in the country.

The UN estimates inter-ethnic violence and disease have left 450,000 dead since the latest conflict began in February 2003, mostly among the land-tilling black tribes from which rebel groups like the Justice and Equality Movement and the Sudan Liberation Movement fighting the central government in Khartoum draw their numbers.

The Janjaweed militias, which the Sudanese government denies supporting but who continue indiscriminate attacks against civilians, are Arab. However, despite the inter-ethnic character of the conflict, nearly all of Darfur's residents are Muslim.

The U.S. government recently described the situation in Darfur as "genocide."

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