Sudan Orders U.N. Envoy to Leave Country
By MOHAMED OSMAN
KHARTOUM, Sudan (Oct. 22) – The Sudanese government Sunday ordered the chief U.N. envoy out of the country after he wrote that Sudan’s army had suffered major losses in recent fighting in Darfur.
Jan Pronk was given 72 hours to leave — an order that is likely to complicate international efforts to halt the killings, rapes and other atrocities in the strife-torn region of western Sudan.
“The presence of the United Nations is vital to hundreds of thousands of citizens of the Darfur region,” said a European Union spokesman, Amadeu Altafaj Tardio, in Brussels.
In a statement distributed by the official Sudan News Agency, the country’s Foreign Ministry accused Pronk of demonstrating “enmity to the Sudanese government and the armed forces” and of involvement in unspecified activities “that are incompatible with his mission.”
In New York, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary-General Kofi Annan had received a letter from the Sudanese government asking that Pronk be removed from the post.
“The secretary-general is studying the letter and has in the meantime requested that Mr. Pronk come to New York for consultations,” Dujarric said.