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UN Protests Over Sudanese Government’s Decision

UN Protests Over Sudanese Government’s Decision To Seek Envoy’s Removal

New York, Oct 25 2006 3:00PM

The United Nations has protested to the Sudanese Government over its decision to ask for the removal of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative in the country Jan Pronk, a UN spokesman said today.

“We obviously deeply regret the Sudanese Government’s decision to ask for his removal but as I’ve said the Secretary-General continues to have full confidence in Mr. Pronk,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric told the daily news briefing in New York, where Mr. Annan will meet with Mr. Pronk tomorrow.

“On Monday, the assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hédi Annabi met with the Sudanese Permanent Representative Ambassador [Abdalmahmood] Mohamad to protest the decision by the Sudanese Government.”

Asked whether there were any plans to appoint a new special representative for Sudan, Mr. Dujarric replied: “Not at all. Mr. Pronk is and remains the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Sudan with the full backing of the Secretary-General.

“He’s back here for consultations… and of course we continue while this issue is ongoing with our work full steam ahead in Sudan both in the South and in Darfur in assisting the African Union mission.”

Mr. Annan received the Sudanese Government’s letter on Sunday and requested Mr. Pronk to come to New York for consultations. Mr. Pronk is expected to arrive in New York tonight.

As Special Representative he oversees the UN Mission in the Sudan (UNMIS) set up in 2005 to support implementation of a peace agreement between the Government and rebel forces in Southern Sudan. In August this year the Security Council expanded its mandate to include deployment to the western Darfur region to support the “early and effective implementation with some of the rebels there.

But the Sudanese Government has rejected any UN deployment in Darfur, where at least 200,000 people are estimated to have died as a result of the conflict and more than 2 million others have been displaced. At present the UN supports an African Union mission in the region.

At present UNMIS has some 10,250 uniformed personnel out of a total of up to 27,300 mandated when the Security Council expanded its mission in August.

Ends

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