Home | News    Tuesday 21 February 2006

Sudan summons Annan envoy to protest call for UN forces in Darfur

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Feb 21, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — The Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned the U.N. envoy in Sudan to protest "his conduct and attitudes," saying his recent call for U.N. peacekeeping forces in Darfur infringed on the country’s sovereignty.

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Jan Pronk

Jan Pronk, special representative of the U.N. secretary-general, said in January that a U.N. peacekeeping force of up to 20,000 troops was needed to disarm militias and provide security so more than 2 million refugees can return home. Sudan opposes non-African peacekeeping forces; the African Union currently has 7,000 troops in Darfur.

In a statement carried by state media, the Foreign Ministry said it conveyed to Pronk Sudan’s "protest against his conduct and that of the international organization in dealing with the issues of Sudan, as well as statements and reports made by his aides that infringe on the sovereignty of the country and its vital issues and tarnishes the image of the country."

The statement said acting Foreign Minister Ali Ahmed Karti told Pronk he was acting as if he could bypass the government-approved mandate and set the outlines for solutions of problems in the country, an attitude that was "totally rejected by Sudan." It did not give examples.

Karti said Sudan was not against the positive cooperation of the U.N. and its mission to Sudan "but if the goal is to serve other agendas, Sudan has the right to reject the conduct as part of its right of sovereignty and freedom to choose the attitudes that agree with its national interests."

The U.N. Mission in Sudan, or UNMIS, was set up to monitor and support the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended a 21-year civil war between north and south Sudan in January 2005, as well as facilitating the return of refugees, demining work and helping monitor human rights. UNMIS also provides political and logistical support to the African Union Mission in Darfur.

The ministry complained that Pronk has blamed the government for delays in reaching peace in Darfur and turned a blind eye to the violations of the Darfur rebels.

Recent U.N. briefings have listed violations by both sides in the conflict.

"Sudan is ready to cooperate with the U.N. mission in the Sudan so long as it maintains credibility in its dealing, but if otherwise proven then the Sudan would have to take measures based on its national sovereignty," the ministry statement said.

(ST/AP)

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