Major Democratic candidates favor a no-fly zone over the Sudan to enforce Darfur peacekeeping.
The candidates, appearing Thursday night a debate at Howard University in Washington D.C., a historically black college, were asked if they would stand by while genocide is committed in the Darfur region.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), John Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson each favored a no-fly zone over the region.
Clinton said U.N. peacekeepers should go in immediately and “for them to be effective, there has to be airlift and logistical support, and that can only come either unilaterally from the United States or from NATO. I prefer NATO.”
She added that the Sudanese governments uses air attacks to back raids on Darfur villages by allied militias. Such raids have killed hundreds of thousands of villagers in what human rights groups say is genocide.
“We should make it very clear to the government in Khartoum we’re putting up a no-fly zone,” Clinton said. “If they fly into it, we will shoot down their planes. Is the only way to get their attention.”
President Bush recently warned the Sudanese that he is considering a no fly zone.