WASHINGTON--A key Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Sunday that the persecution of Christians and other minority ethnic groups in Sudan is "horrible" and the United States must get involved.
House Whip Tom DeLay said the White House view is that "we won't stand for what's going on in the Sudan" and asserted that "we need to do whatever is necessary to stop this carnage that's going on in the Sudan."
But in an interview on NBC Television's "Meet the Press," DeLay, a Texas Republican, declined to commit himself to any particular course of action.
The Bush administration has been under increasing pressure from members of Congress as well as evangelical Christian and civil rights activists to focus more on Sudan.
Some say the appeals are making the 17-year-old Sudanese civil war the first test of the administration's posture toward humanitarian crises abroad.
Asked if the United States should get involved in the Sudan, DeLay replied: "Absolutely".
"I don't know the extent we ought to get involved ... That has been going on for so many years with the world turning a blind eye to the persecution and the destruction of Christians in Southern Sudan," he said.
"It's just outrageous what's going on there. It's just horrible what's going on."
DeLay said the United States should not be engaged in nation-building in Sudan or other countries, but "we should always be standing firm with our friends and for freedom and against persecution around the world and for human rights around the world and developing democracy and supporting that wherever we can and in many different ways."