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UN Endeavours On Political Fronts In Sudan


UN Endeavours On Political And Humanitarian Fronts In Sudan

The United Nations today continued its efforts to help usher in peace and stability for troubled Sudan, holding political talks in Kenya and opening a camp in eastern Chad to ease congestion and relocate refugees from along the Sudanese border.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Sudan, Jan Pronk, was in Nairobi, Kenya, where he was scheduled to meet with John Garang, Chairman of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) to discuss the implementation of the comprehensive North-South peace agreement and the deployment of UN peacekeepers.

Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its non-governmental organization (NGO) partners have opened a 12th camp in eastern Chad for refugees from Darfur to ease overcrowding in some of the other sites. Since the conflict that has engulfed the region began in early 2003, some 200,000 Sudanese have fled over the border to Chad.

A first group of some 100 Sudanese refugees left their temporary homes near the border on six UNHCR trucks bound for the new Gaga camp, located about 60 kilometres from eastern Chad’s main city of Abeche.

The refugees had been living near the border for the past few months, initially declining UNHCR’s offer to move them to another camp as they preferred to stay, and hoped to return soon to Darfur, in western Sudan. Some of them occasionally crossed the border back to Darfur to check on the land, property and animals they had left behind after fleeing attacks by armed militia last year. Others said the wanted to move from the area because they felt exposed to possible attacks.

In other news, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) reported that the security situation in Darfur continued to be fluid. In North Darfur, banditry has been prominent with two incidents where commercially hired UN trucks were looted. An international NGO staff member and vehicle were detained and released two days later.

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