MADELEINE BRAND, host:
From the studios of NPR West, this is DAY TO DAY. I'm Madeleine Brand.
ALEX COHEN, host:
And I'm Alex Cohen.
Today, President Bush said he'll impose new economic sanctions to pressure the Sudanese government to end the bloodshed in that country's Darfur region. According to the U.N., at least 200,000 people have died there during the past four years of conflict.
In a few minutes, we'll hear from actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow, who's just returned from her fourth visit to Darfur.
First, NPR's Michele Kelemen has this report from Washington on today's announcement.
MICHELE KELEMEN: The president promised six weeks ago to impose the sanctions but said he was giving the United Nations more time to persuade Sudan's president to allow in peacekeepers and stop the campaign the U.S. has labeled genocide. Today, President Bush accused Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir of obstructing peace efforts.
President GEORGE W. BUSH: I call on President Bashir to stop his obstruction and to allow the peacekeepers in, and to end the campaign of violence that continues to target innocent men, women and children. And I promise this to the people of Darfur: The United States will not avert our eyes from a crisis that challenges the conscience of the world.
KELEMEN: The president said he's adding 31 Sudanese companies to a sanctions list, and the U.S. is singling out three individuals: Sudan state minister for humanitarian affairs, Ahmed Mohammed Harun, and the head of the military intelligence and security, Awad Ibn Auf. The third is a rebel leader, Khalil Ibrahim, who has refused to sign the Darfur peace agreement.
President BUSH: These sanctions will isolate these persons by cutting them off from the U.S. financial system, barring them from doing business with any American citizen or company, and calling the world's attention to their crimes.
KELEMEN: President Bush also wants to see the U.N. Security Council pass a new resolution to tighten an arms embargo and to stop Sudanese air attacks in Darfur.
Michele Kelemen, NPR News, Washington.