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UN Mission Denies Leaving North Sudan

The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) has denied a report that it is leaving the country's north ahead of south Sudan's independence in July.

The pro-government Sudanese Media Center said Monday that the U.N. mission has begun moving equipment to the southern capital of Juba from five offices in the north, including one in the capital, Khartoum.

The report said the mission was informed five months ago by the Khartoum government that it should leave the country.

The acting spokesman for the U.N. mission, Kouider Zerroukhe, told VOA Sudan Project on Tuesday that the report is not true. He said the U.N. mission will be in both the north and the south when the south declares independence July 9.

The mission's mandate is due to end that same day. The spokesman says the mission is awaiting the outcome of talks with north Sudan's government that will determine its future.

South Sudan voted overwhelmingly to split from the north in a January referendum. The vote was part of the 2005 peace deal that ended Sudan's 21-year north-south civil war.

The United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) was set up in 2005 to ensure that north and south Sudan comply with the terms of the peace deal.