Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pronk: U.N. envoy's blunt blogging got him kicked out of Sudan

Excerpt from USATODAY editorial 24 Oct 2006:
Pronk's blog might have violated United Nations' standards about separating personal views from official duties. But the episode is far more important for the deeper - and disturbing - truths it reveals.

First, the Sudanese government, for all its denials, is involved in making Darfur's horrors worse even as it denies that to the outside world. And second, its agenda is to prevent effective international intervention.

For two years, Pronk has pushed the Sudanese to allow an international presence and to stop the orgy of rapes and killings. No doubt they are hoping his successor will be less outspoken; instead, the episode harshly spotlights what the Sudanese government is getting away with in Darfur.
What now? Not only was Jan Pronk one of the few who knew what was really going on in Sudan, he was a voice of those suffering in Sudan and the only civil servant willing to risk his neck over the past year to tell the world what is really going on in Darfur and warn of what needs to be done. Note, he was in favour of bolstering the African Union's mission in Darfur.


Photo: Chief U.N. Envoy to Sudan, Jan Pronk of the Netherlands, speaks during a press conference in Khartoum, Sudan in this Thursday, Sept 21, 2006 file photo. The Sudanese government on Sunday Oct. 22, 2006 gave Pronk three days to leave the country, Sudan's official news agency reported whilst giving no reason for the order, but Pronk drew sharp criticism from the Sudanese military this month after writing in a personal Web log that government forces had suffered serious losses recently at the hands of rebels in Darfur. (AP Photo/Abdel Raouf)

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