The United States should contribute troops and equipment to a planned new U.N. force designed to stop the killings and rape in Sudan's Darfur region, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Thursday.
Annan said he would press President George W. Bush on the issue when the two meet on Monday in Washington, along with expected discussions on Iran, Iraq and the controversy over cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad.
The United States has declared the Darfur conflict genocide and provided logistic support for the AU mission.
A U.N. force in Darfur would have to be very different from the current AU mission, said Annan, who will also have talks on Monday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Such a force would need to show the militias and others plundering villages and attacking refugee camps and humanitarian workers "that we have a force that is capable to respond, a force that is everywhere, and a force that will be there on time to prevent them from intimidating and killing the innocent civilians," he said.
The force would have to be highly mobile on the ground and also have air assets, so it could respond quickly and stop attacks rather than arrive "after the harm has been done," he said ()