SUDAN WATCH: UN suspension will be lifted when SRSG Jan Pronk clarifies UNMIS' position says Sudanese FM

Sunday, June 25, 2006

UN suspension will be lifted when SRSG Jan Pronk clarifies UNMIS' position says Sudanese FM

Further to this morning's news - Sudan suspends UN work in Darfur over UN airlift of SLA-Minnawi's Suleiman Jamous - a report at Xinhua/ST this evening reveals UN denies being informed of suspension; Sudanese FM says the suspension will be lifted when SRSG Jan Pronk clarifies UNMIS' position. Excerpt:
A UN spokesperson denied here on Sunday that the world body had been officially informed of the Sudanese government's decision to suspend UN activities in the country's troubled western region of Darfur.

"We have not received any formal or official notification on the decision from the Sudanese government," Radhia Achouri, spokeswoman of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), told Xinhua.

"We cannot make comments on what we have seen in the press media," the spokeswoman added.

Meanwhile, a Sudanese official source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that the decision to suspend UN activities in Darfur was made because an UN helicopter had transported Suleiman Adam Jamous, a senior member of a Darfur rebel group who rejected a peace agreement, without consultations with the Sudanese government.

He also said that since Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Sudan Jan Pronk was currently in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry was to summon another UNMIS official instead to clarify the incident.

On Saturday night, the Sudanese government ordered Darfur local authorities to suspend UN activities in the region except humanitarian work of the World Food Program (WFP) and other international aid agencies.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry announced in a statement that the government had to take this decision because the UNMIS overstepped its mandate by airlifting the leader of the Darfur rebel movement al-Fashir to Masbad and then to Kadugli. All of the three towns were located in Darfur.

"The suspension will be lifted when the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Sudan (Pronk) clarifies the UNMIS' position," the statement added.

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