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Protests greet UN's Egeland in Darfur

From CNN Senior Correspondent Nic Robertson

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Displaced Darfuris await the arrival of U.N. relief coordinator Jan Egeland Sunday in southern Darfur.

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NYALA, Sudan (CNN) -- The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs was greeted by protesters on Sunday as he arrived in Nyala, the largest city in southern Darfur, to assess the humanitarian crisis in the region.

As Jan Egeland stepped off his plane, several dozen protesters chanted and waved banners saying "No to international interference," an apparent reference to a proposal to send U.N. peacekeepers to Darfur to calm the violence that has killed 180,000 people and displaced 2 million others.

In a report from the Reuters news service, Egeland called for aid workers to be given better access to Sudan's Darfur region, as agreed in a peace deal to end three years of fighting.

Saturday, a spokesman for the Sudanese government suggested that Sudan would welcome U.N. peacekeepers, but a foreign ministry spokesman told Reuters on Sunday that the government had not yet decided whether to allow the so-called "blue helmets" into the region.

Currently, 7,000 peacekeepers from the African Union are trying to maintain order in the nearly 1,000 camps for internally displaced refugees. (Watch a visit to a refugee camp -- 2:18)

Egeland predicted that even 20,000 U.N. peacekeepers would have trouble maintaining stability, and he voiced concern that the two smaller rebel groups that splintered from a main group during the peace accord talks could cause problems.

The under-secretary-general is also expected to call on government officials and SLA rebel leaders to implement the peace deal that was reached Friday in Nigeria, calling it a "new start."

The rebels' principal demands included that there be a vice president in Sudan from the Darfur region, that there be a regional government of Darfur, and that the Arab "janjaweed" militias be disarmed, an African Union adviser told CNN.

Those demands were largely met in the final accord.

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