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UN Peacekeepers Start Deployment in Sudan

The United Nations announced in Khartoum Sunday it has started deploying the first group of its peacekeeping force in Sudan, Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported.

Radia Achouri, spokeswoman for the UN mission in Sudan, was quoted as saying that the first group of the UN force was 30-strong Nepalese out of total of 225, who arrived in Kassala town in eastern Sudan earlier in the day.

Achouri said that El-Obeid town in Kordofan region will be the center of deployment for the 10,000-strong UN forces.

She added that the donor countries will deliver the support needed for the deployment, such as the machinery and means of transportation and monitoring, while the UN itself will provide necessary automobiles and residents.

The UN official stressed the UN peacekeeping-deployment process will end by next September, during which the UN forces will be divided into six main sections in areas of Kassala, Damazine, Malakal, Juba, Kadugli and Abyei.

Most of the forces, or about 8,500, will be deployed in the south while the other 1,500 troops will be in the other disputed areas, she added.

The UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan comes to support a peace accord reached in January between the Sudanese government and the rebel group in southern Sudan, known as the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, to end their civil war, which has claimed thousands of lives with many displaced.

(Xinhua News Agency May 2, 2005)

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