SUDAN WATCH: Pronk expulsion creates rift in Sudanese govt

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pronk expulsion creates rift in Sudanese govt

Oct 24 2006 Khartoum, VOA report by Noel King - excerpt:
Partners in Sudan's unity government say the ruling National Congress Party expelled Pronk without their consent.

Mohamed Bashir - a spokesman for Darfur's Sudan Liberation Movement, which signed a peace deal with the Sudanese government in May - called the decision a failure on the part of the ruling party.

"No matter what Mr. Pronk does or says, he represents the UN and not himself," he said. "Under the circumstances any decision against him should be done after a wider consultation, at least within the Government of National Unity and take into consideration the ongoing difficulty between Sudan and the UN."

The former rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement, which commands an autonomous government in southern Sudan, has also said it was not consulted about the decision.

SPLM representatives were not available for comment. But, according to news reports, top southern officials have condemned the decision to expel Pronk.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the National Congress Party and the SPLM has long been marred by tensions over wealth and power sharing.

Southern analyst Abendego Akok, of the Juba University Center for Peace and Justice Studies, says the decision to expel Pronk may further exacerbate tensions between northern Sudan and its former southern foes.

"The NCP has a larger share in the government. They can take any decision without referring to any partner," he said. "The transitional government, if they want to take decisions, they should consult the others before they take any decisions because this will widen the gap between them."

The United Nations stands behind Pronk, saying it still considers him to be the secretary-general's representative to Sudan.
Note, Mr Pronk is head of the UN mission in Sudan (UNMIS). Currently, some 10,000 UN peacekeepers are in southern Sudan as part of the south's Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). To date, the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) has no section on peacekeepers. Over the past week, I've seen news of a handful of UN personnel arriving in Darfur to support the AU's mission (AMIS).

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