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South Sudan Expels UN Deputy

FILE- Reporters pack into the Erick de Mul conference room in Juba for a news conference by acting UNMISS head Toby Lanzer on Aug. 28, 2014.

The United Nations says South Sudan has decided to expel the U.N. deputy representative to that African nation.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the moved Monday and called on South Sudan to reverse the decision immediately.

The United Nations said Monday that South Sudan wants the expulsion of Toby Lanzer, a British national, who is the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Sudan.

A spokesman for Ban said, "Mr. Lanzer has been instrumental in addressing the increasing humanitarian needs of conflict affected communities in the country, and ensuring that lifesaving humanitarian assistance reaches the most vulnerable."

No reason was given for the expulsion. However, the United Nations noted that Lanzer is coming to the end of his term. Ban appointed a successor to Lanzer on Friday.

Lanzer will take up a new post as U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel.

South Sudan has been mired in conflict for more than a year between soldiers backing President Salva Kiir and rebels who support former vice president Riek Machar.

The war has displaced more than 1 million South Sudanese, leaving many dependent on foreign food aid. Peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia have made little progress.