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Sudan Re-Opens Camp To Aid Workers

Sudan Re-Opens Camp To Aid Workers One Day After UN Appeal For Access

The Sudanese authorities today re-opened the Kalma camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Darfur to humanitarian workers - a move welcomed by the senior United Nations envoy to the country, who had called for access to the area.

Officials working with Jan Pronk, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Sudan, also reported today that an IDP staff member of CARE-International, a non-governmental organization (NGO) operating in troubled Darfur, was released on Saturday after being previously detained by Sudanese authorities.

The Kalma camp, which is home to thousands of IDPs escaping attacks by Janjaweed militias, has also been re-opened to humanitarian workers after they had been barred from visiting it for three days.

Mr. Pronk met Sudanese Vice-President Ali Osman Taha this morning to discuss the situation in Darfur, which has been widely described as the world's worst current humanitarian crisis.

About 1.2 million people are internally displaced and another 200,000 are refugees in neighbouring Chad are refugees because of the Janjaweed attacks and the fighting between Sudanese Government forces and two Darfur rebel groups.

Mr. Pronk and Mr. Taha also discussed developments in southern Sudan, where peace talks are taking place between Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) in a bid to end a separate 21-year civil war in that part of the country.

In a statement released yesterday, Mr. Pronk welcomed measures taken by Khartoum to implement the so-called Darfur Plan of Action of 5 August, which is designed to stop attacks against civilians by the Janjaweed and restore security to Darfur.

Meanwhile, the UN mission led by the Secretary-General's Military Adviser, Major General Patrick Cammaert, is heading to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to brief the African Union (AU) on what assistance would be needed to support the planned AU observer mission in Darfur.

The UN team - which had been sent at the request of the Security Council - returned last night to Khartoum after touring Darfur, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters in New York.

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