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President Bush’s envoy to the Sudan conflict has stepped down. The White House announced the departure of Andrew Natsios on Friday. Natsios, a former director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, assumed the post in September 2006. Bush created the special envoy post partly as a result of lobbying by Jewish groups, which have taken the lead in exposing the massacres of hundreds of thousands of civilians in the Darfur region by government-allied militias.

Natsios frequently updated Jewish groups on the status of efforts to force the Sudanese government to end the killing. He will be replaced by Rich Williamson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

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