U.N. says to move some staff out of Sudan temporarily

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - the United Nations said on Wednesday it is temporarily removing some civilian staff from Sudan because of the security situation in the country, where security forces on Monday carried out a deadly raid on a protest camp.

Medics linked to the opposition said the death toll from Monday’s operation and subsequent unrest had risen to 108 and that it was expected to increase further. No official casualty figures have been released.

The raid followed weeks of wrangling between the ruling military council and opposition groups over who should lead Sudan’s transition to democracy and it marked the worst outbreak of violence since the army ousted President Omar al-Bashir in April after months of protests against his rule.

“What we are doing is temporarily relocating some of the staff from Sudan. There will still be some staff on hand to perform critical functions but because of security some ... are being relocated temporarily,” said U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq.

The spokesman provided no information on how many staff were being moved, where they were going, when they might return and how many would remain in the country. The staff being relocated were civilians and no uniformed personnel are leaving, he said.

U.N. activities in Sudan include development cooperation and humanitarian assistance as well as peacekeeping operations by the joint African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) deployed since 2007, according to the U.N. website.

(This story was refiled to fix typo in 4th paragraph)

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed, editing by G Crosse