Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pronk said he had offended elements in Sudanese govt "who continue to seek a military solution and don't want anybody peering over their shoulders"

Not sure if it is my imagination but President Bashir is starting to sound unhinged. Oct 25 2006 AP report via Guardian - Sudan President Criticizes Foreign Media. Excerpt:
Sudan's president lashed out Tuesday at foreign media and relief groups operating in violence-plagued Darfur, implying that aid organizations serving the region's 2.5 million displaced people could face expulsion.

Sudan's government was working to "rid (refugee) camps of those exploiting the suffering of the people, those suspicious organizations who are part of a series of conspiracies," the official news agency quoted al-Bashir as saying during a speech at the start of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday.

"We have promised before God not to let Darfurians' suffering be a pretext for foreign intervention or a subject for hostile media," al-Bashir said according to SUNA.

In Amsterdam, Pronk said Tuesday he was merely repeating what he had read in a local newspaper.

"I didn't do anything but repeat an open secret ... as a call to the rebels: You have won twice now. You'll lose the third time. So now you must abide by the cease-fire, by the peace accord. Don't attack," Pronk told the Dutch state broadcaster NOS.

Pronk said he had offended elements within the Sudanese government "who continue to seek a military solution and don't want anybody peering over their shoulders."

Pronk stopped in the Netherlands, his home country, en route to New York to consult with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Annan has said he still has full confidence in Pronk, the U.N.'s special representative in Sudan for more than two years.

Associated Press Writer Toby Sterling contributed to this report from Amsterdam.

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