Jewish group praises Bush on Sudan lift


WASHINGTON (JTA) – A U.S. Jewish group praised the Bush administration for airlifting equipment to peace forces in Sudan.

President Bush on Monday authorized the transfer of 240 containers of heavy equipment to the African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur, the region where government-allied militias have massacred hundreds of thousands of civilians.

"We are glad the president has taken this step because UNAMID has, to date, not had the equipment, the geopolitical support, the will or the power to really make a difference on the ground," Ruth Messinger, the president of the American Jewish World Service, said in a statement. "As a result, Darfuri people and aid workers continue to be attacked, violence breaks out every week in some new site, and scores of internally displaced persons have no access to humanitarian aid."

Messinger called on Bush and President-elect Barack Obama to "turn up the pressure on the government of Sudan," and add sanctions against the government and aid to refugees.

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