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Pronk to Remain UN Envoy in Sudan Through End of Year

The United Nations says its special envoy to Sudan, Jan Pronk, will remain in his post until the end of the year, despite Sudan's refusal to work with him.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Friday that Pronk is expected to return to Sudan's capital, Khartoum, next month and organize an "orderly handover" of his job to another U.N. official. The spokesman says the decision was reached after consultations with Sudanese authorities.

Sudan's government expelled Pronk earlier this week after he wrote on his personal Website that Sudan's army had lost two major battle to rebels in the Darfur region, and that morale was low as a result.

On Thursday, Sudanese officials said they would have no further dealings with Pronk, and that there were no conditions under which they would allow him to return to his work.

Pronk has been a strong critic of the Sudanese government's conduct in Darfur, where it is trying to suppress an ongoing rebellion. More than three years of fighting in the region has killed an estimated 200,000 people and displaced more than two million others.

Khartoum continues to reject calls to allow a U.N. peacekeeping force in Darfur.

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