President Bush said Monday the United Nations should send a peacekeeping force to the troubled Darfur region of Sudan as soon as possible without further delay.

"The United Nations can play an important role in helping us achieve our objective, which is to end human suffering and deprivation," Bush said as he dispatched special envoy Andrew Natsios to the region. "In my view, the United Nations should not wait any longer ... ."

The Sudanese government has thus far resisted mounting international pressure to accept a U.N. peacekeeping force in Darfur. Bush contends the U.N. should deploy such a force anyway.

Natsios said he had been going to Sudan for 17 years and "I know leaders in all regions of the country and I'm going to use those contacts and that history to move this process along."

"I think what our objective is, is not just to have a temporary fix for two months, but to try to deal with the root causes of this so we don't have another fourth war in five years, should we end this one successfully," Natsios said in an Oval Office session with Bush and reporters.