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UN envoy urges Sudan to open access to Darfur camp closed to

UN envoy Jan Pronk welcomed a list of Government pledges which he received today from Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail, but he stressed the need for these words to translate into improved security in Darfur, widely viewed as the site of the world’s worst current humanitarian disaster. Mr. Pronk also expressed concern about the lack of progress so far on the ground and at the fact that the Janjaweed militia still constitute a threat around camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs). The envoy’s comments followed the recent killing of an IDP employed by CARE-International and the closure of a South Darfur camp by the Sudanese authorities.Reacting to those events, he noted that for three days the UN and humanitarian workers have been denied access to Kalma camp, and said this “will have serious consequences on the IDPs’ needs for relief and assistance, particularly severely malnourished children who require daily assistance in therapeutic feeding centers inside the camp.” While the issue is under discussion with the Sudanese authorities, Mr. Pronk voiced hope that “full access to the camp will be granted as soon as possible.” He has asked UN officials to visit the camp tomorrow.On 12 August, a crowd attacked some IDPs from an Arab neighboring camp hired by CARE-International because they were viewed as having participated in attacks. In addition to the IDP who was killed, another has been hospitalized. Two CARE-International staff members were held briefly in police custody but later released, while a third remains in detention.The Government authorities ordered the suspension of all humanitarian activities at the camp and African Union (AU) monitors were denied entry. read more

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