The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, has arrived in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum for a three-day-visit to region.

The visit comes days before the Dáil is expected to give its approval for the deployment of Irish troops to eastern Chad.

The Minister is meeting representatives of Irish aid agencies in Khartoum who are still working on the ground in the Darfur region.

Mr Ahern will also visit eastern Chad close to the border with Sudan where Irish troops are due to be deployed as part of the UN-mandated EU mission in the coming weeks.

If the Dáil approves the deployment, the first group of Irish troops are expected to be on the ground by the beginning of December.

The conflict in Darfur has already cost the lives of more than 250,000 people in the past few years and more than 2m people have been displaced in the deepening humanitarian crisis in Darfur and eastern Chad.