Home | News    Saturday 30 September 2006

US slams UN official for criticizing US, British stand on Darfur

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Sept 29, 2006 (UNITED NATIONS) — US Ambassador John Bolton took UN deputy secretary general Mark Malloch Brown to task after the latter criticized Washington and London for their "megaphone diplomacy" in trying to persuade Sudan to accept a UN force in Darfur.

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John Bolton

In an interview with the Independent newspaper, Malloch Brown, Kofi Annan’s deputy, said the US and British approach was "counterproductive almost" and opened the door to Sudan comparing itself to Iraq and Afghanistan, both invaded as part of the "war on terror".

"These remarks bring discredit to the UN and are a stain on its reputation," said Bolton, the US envoy to the UN. "Mr Malloch Brown should apologize to (US President George W.) Bush and (British Prime Minister Tony) Blair."

"We are proud we have called the attention of the international community to the tragedy in Darfur ... And to have Malloch Brown attack those efforts brings great discredit to this effort," he added.

In June, Bolton clashed with Malloch Brown after Annan’s deputy suggested that Washington was not informing the American people about the UN’s good work in support of US foreign policy goals.

In response, Bolton, on a trip to London, then said: "It is illegitimate for an international civil servant to criticize what he thinks are the inadequacies of the citizens of a member government."

Last month, the UN Security Council agreed to send 17,000 troops and 3,000 police to Darfur to take over from an ill-equipped and cash-strapped African Union force. But Khartoum is adamantly opposed to the deployment of a robust UN contingent in Darfur.

"Sudan doesn’t see a united international community," Malloch Brown told the Independent.

"And that allows it to characterize themselves as the victims of the next crusade after Iraq and Afghanistan... So Tony Blair and George Bush need to get beyond this posturing and grandstanding," he noted.

"This megaphone diplomacy coming out of Washington and London — ’you damn well are going to let the UN deploy and if you don’t, beware the circumstances’ — isn’t plausible," he added.

Because of Khartoum’s refusal to accept the UN force, African Union leaders have agreed to extend the mandate of their operation until December 31 after receiving promises of UN logistical support and funding from Arab states.

(AFP/ST)

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