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Egyptian Military Engineers Join UN-AU In Darfur

Egyptian military engineers join UN-AU mission in Darfur

24 July 2008 - A contingent of 126 Egyptian engineers today arrived in El Fasher, Darfur, according to the joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission (UNAMID).

They join 83 personnel already deployed in the area, and UNAMID said it expects it to come up to its full complement of 335 staff in the next few days.

The contingent which arrived today - including construction, de-mining and water desalination platoons - has been assigned to the construction and maintenance of El Fasher airport.

Yesterday, UNAMID's head, Rodolphe Adada, met with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Darfur and pointed out that the mission had thousands of containers awaiting "movement along the difficult and sometimes dangerous routes into Darfur."

Mr. Adada also called on the Government to ensure that the convoys reach their destinations safely.

Also yesterday, UNAMID announced that it was continuing to suspend the temporary relocation of its non-essential UN personnel. Around 300 people were moved out of Darfur before the relocation was halted last Friday.

Some 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed as a result of direct combat, disease or malnutrition since 2003. Another 2.7 million people have been displaced because of fighting between rebels, Government forces and allied militiamen known as the Janjaweed.

ENDS

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