US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was on Thursday expected to begin pushing NATO allies to accept a more robust role for the alliance helping African peacekeepers end political and ethnic strife in Sudan's Darfur region.
Washington is urging NATO to step up its support for African Union peacekeepers by providing the Africans with logistics, communications, transport, planning, intelligence and expanded training - including an unspecified number of instructors and other experts on the ground in Sudan.
So far, NATO support has been limited to airlift and a small training mission for AU commanders.
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