UN begins moving nonessential personnel out of Sudan

2008-07-15 20:21:22 GMT       2008-07-16 04:21:22 (Beijing Time)       xinhuanet

UNITED NATIONS, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations started on Tuesday the temporary relocation of nonessential personnel out of Sudan, a UN spokesperson said.

Some 200 people will be involved during the relocation, Marie Okabe told reporters at a UN briefing.

But she said all peacekeeping operations continue on the ground, with the UN presence largely in place, including some 7,800 military personnel, more than 1,600 civilian police and nearly some 1,800 civilian staff.

Okabe said relocation measures were taken in response to the deteriorating situation on the ground, detailed in UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's most recent report on the UN-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

Okabe said last week's attack on UN peacekeepers was the worst against UNAMID in the past six months.

Last Tuesday, a joint police and military patrol of UNAMID was ambushed by unidentified militia in North Darfur. Five peacekeepers and two police officers were killed while 19 others were wounded.

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