BRITAIN is ready to send 5000 troops to the violence-wracked Darfur region of Sudan if required, the head of the army, General Sir Michael Jackson, has said.
"If need be, we will be able to go to Sudan," Gen Jackson said in an interview with BBC News 24.
"I suspect we could put a brigade together very quickly indeed."
Asked how many troops that would entail, he replied: "Five thousand."
[T]he Liberal Democrats want an EU-led force to intervene, under a UN mandate.
Foreign affairs spokesman, Sir Menzies Campbell, has written to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw saying food aid and diplomatic pressure is not enough.
He said: "With US and British forces stretched to breaking point, countries such as France and Germany have the opportunity to make a significant contribution.
The United States Congress declared yesterday that the killings in Sudan's Darfur region were genocide and urged a reluctant President George W Bush to intervene.
A resolution passed unanimously in the House of Representatives, with the Senate's endorsement, urged Mr Bush to "call the atrocities by their rightful name: genocide".
Under the 1948 United Nations genocide convention, all the signatories "undertake to prevent and to punish" genocide wherever it occurs. Congress took the first step down this path with a resolution stating that Khartoum's Arab regime was carrying out a genocidal campaign against the black African population.
The Bush administration will be chary of dragging already stretched forces into another conflict. When Colin Powell, the secretary of state, visited Sudan last month he cautiously said the conflict was moving "toward a genocide conclusion" rather than saying it was genocide.
Congress demanded a tougher line by calling on Mr Bush to "lead an international effort to prevent" the genocide in Darfur and to "consider multilateral or even unilateral intervention should the UN Security Council fail to act".