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US denounces expulsion of UN Sudan envoy

Written by: Staff
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WASHINGTON, Oct 23 (Reuters) The United States denounced Sudan's order to expel UN Sudan envoy Jan Pronk and said today that international action was needed to contain the worsening conflict in the country's Darfur region.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, asked her reaction to the expulsion order issued yesterday, told reporters it was ''unfortunate in the extreme.'' ''The situation in Darfur has been deteriorating and the international community needs very much to be able to act there,'' Rice said at a meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency director Mohamed ElBaradei.

She said she would try to discuss the issue with U.N.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan later on Monday.

Pronk had infuriated the Sudan's military by publishing comments on his Web site, www.janpronk.nl, saying the army had morale and discipline problems and that it had two major battles with with rebels in North Darfur.

REUTERS AB MIR RAI2105

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