A senior UN official said on Thursday that UN observers would pull out of eastern Sudan since forces of the former rebel SPLM had withdrawn from the region according to a peace agreement it signed with the government in January 2005 - Xinhua/ST
reported 6 July 2006:
Jan Pronk, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Sudan, told reporters that since the tasks of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) were completed in the Kassala state under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the mission's offices and operations will be closed and phased out.
He further explained that after the completion of redeployment of thousands SPLM troops from eastern Sudan last month, the mission of UNMIS in the region was accomplished.
On a recent attack by rebels on Hamrat al-Sheikh town in North Kordofan state in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, the UN envoy described the attack as a serious event, hoping that it would not have adverse effects on the Darfur peace process.
"It remains to be seen if that attack would mark the beginning of a new strategy to extend hostilities outside Darfur by the holdout rebel groups behind the assault or if it was just an isolated attack," Pronk said.
He added that the UNMIS would be closely watching the situation and its potential consequences for the peace process.