Khartoum - The UN's top official in Sudan on Tuesday called
for immediate access to southern Darfur where thousands of civilians have been
affected by rebel-government fighting but relief teams have been denied access
for security reasons.
Ali Al-Za'tari, citing government figures, said about 36 000
people have gathered around the bases of international peacekeepers in Muhagiriya
and Labado, some 100km east of the South Darfur state capital Nyala.
"Reports received by the United Nations indicate an
outbreak of diarrhoea among children requiring urgent and immediate
assistance," Za'tari said, expressing "serious concern" for
civilians in the area.
He said aid workers need access right away to assess the
people's condition and provide relief supplies.
Za'tari urged the government and rebels of the Sudan
Liberation Army's Minni Minnawi faction "to uphold their humanitarian
responsibilities to protect all civilian populations".
He stressed civilians wanting to leave the area must be
allowed safe passage.
On Monday a UN official said "authorities deemed it too
insecure" for aid agencies to enter Muhagiriya and Labado.