Sudan approves beefing up UN Darfur mission

The Sudanese government gave the go-ahead Monday for the deployment of attack helicopters and more than 3,000 UN troops, police, and other personnel to beef up the 7,000-strong African Union force in conflict-wracked Darfur. Sudan's UN Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem informed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a letter that the government had approved the UN plan to send helicopter gunships, the last outstanding item in the UN's "heavy support package" for the AU force. "It is the sincere hope of the Sudan that implementation of the heavy support package would proceed expeditiously," Abdalhaleem said.