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Clinton says she will "sound alarm" on Darfur

WASHINGTON, Jan 13 (Reuters) - U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday she would focus on the Darfur crisis as top U.S. diplomat and the Obama administration was looking at a range of options, including the creation of no-fly zones.

"There is a great need for us to sound the alarm again about Darfur. It is a terrible humanitarian crisis compounded by a corrupt and very cruel regime in Khartoum," Clinton said at a Senate hearing to confirm her nomination as secretary of state.

She said the incoming Obama administration was conducting a review on U.S. policy toward Darfur and the UN/African Union force must be fully deployed.

"We have spoken about other options, no fly zones, other sanctions and sanctuaries, looking to deploy the UN/AU force to try to protect the refugees but also to repel the militias," she said.

"There is a lot under consideration," she added.

Foreign policy experts say 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million driven from their homes in five years of fighting between rebels and the army and government-backed militias. Khartoum accuses the Western media of exaggerating the death toll.

The deployment of a joint UN/AU peacekeeping force has lagged behind schedule and Darfur activists have been pushing the incoming administration to do more to get those troops on the ground and look at new ideas to stop the violence. (Reporting by Sue Pleming, editing by David Alexander)

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