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Norwegian Aid Group Leaving Darfur


A Norwegian aid group says it will shut down operations in Sudan's Darfur region because of government interference.

The Norwegian Refugee Council says Sudan has suspended the group for a total of 210 days since mid-2004.

The group's secretary-general, Tomas Archer, says his workers cannot operate when authorities suspend the group continuously and do not respond to repeated requests for dialogue.

The N.R.C. provides assistance at three large camps for internally displaced Sudanese. The group says its departure will affect 300,000 people in South Darfur.

Sudanese officials are often suspicious of foreign aid agencies working in Darfur and they target groups that criticize government actions and policies.

Sudan continues to resist international pressure to allow a U.N. peacekeeping forces into the volatile region.

More than three years of fighting between rebels and government-backed militias has killed an estimated 200,000 people and displaced over two million since early 2003.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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