Sudan Said to Delay Visas to U.S., U.K. Envoys for Darfur Probe

Sudan hasn’t processed visas for U.S., U.K. and French diplomats planning a fact-finding mission to the African country’s western region of Darfur, a United Nations diplomat said.

The three countries’ missions to the UN applied to Sudan for visas in January for a visit by their deputy ambassadors the following month, according to a UN Security Council diplomat who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter. Sudan still hasn’t processed the applications, the person said.

Sudan’s government has demanded that the UN withdraw its peacekeeping mission from Darfur, where an insurgency has raged since 2003, saying its presence is unnecessary.

Violence flared in Darfur in the first three months of the year, with more than 32,000 people displaced by intercommunal clashes and battles between rebels and government forces, according to UN data.

The holdup on visas was reported earlier by Reuters.

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