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UNHCR chief to visit Sudan, Chad, Kenya

8/20/2005 7:23pm

NAIROBI, Aug. 19 (Xinhuanet) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres is scheduled to embark on a ten-day mission next week to visit the agency's operations in the Darfur region of western Sudan, Chad, southern Sudan and Kenya.

In a statement available here Friday, the UNHCR said Guterres will assess the situation in southern Sudan where UNHCR is planning to help return home some 500,000 refugees who fled the 21-year long civil war and are now mainly in Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"Guterres visit starts in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Tuesday where he is expected to meet senior government officials, UN agencies, donors and UNHCR partners and staff," said the statement.

The UNHCR chief will go to Darfur the following day where he will visit camps for the displaced and meet African Union, and local government officials.

"The situation in Sudan, both in Darfur and in the south, are of key importance to UNHCR with some 200,000 refugees from Darfur in 12 camps in neighboring eastern Chad and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people within Darfur with serious protection needs," said the statement.

In eastern Chad Guterres will visit two of the twelve UNHCR-runrefugee camps, and meet senior government leaders before heading to southern Sudan to see for himself preparations for the return of refugees including rehabilitation of schools, hospitals and demining of roads.

He is scheduled to visit Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp which hosts some 60,000 refugees from southern Sudan, as well as meet senior government officials and thereafter return to Geneva on September 1. Enditem

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