Saturday, October 28, 2006

Wide praise from UN Security Council members for Pronk's willingness to speak frankly about Darfur

Oct 28 2006 VOA report via CFD - Pronk Accuses Sudan of Fresh Violations:
Pronk rejected Khartoum's contention that he had exceeded his mandate as special U.N. envoy, and said all information on his Web blog was obtained from the Sudanese media.

"It was very well known that soldiers were retreating, not willing to fight. That was public knowledge, that there was low morale, and I said that this resulted in which I deplored very much,in the incorporation of militia and janjaweed in the paramilitary forces, the militia and the janjaweed are not disciplined, they kill. If you steal camels, they kill, in retaliation, babies," he said.

After speaking to Pronk, Secretary-General Annan said he retains full confidence in the envoy. Mr. Annan's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Pronk would keep his job until his contract runs out in December, despite his expulsion, and would make a brief symbolic return to Sudan next month.

"Mr. Pronk will return to Khartoum to organize an orderly handover to the officer in charge of the mission before returning to New York for debriefings, but will remain the special representative until the end of the year," he said.

Sudan's U.N. Ambassador Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem says Khartoum considers Pronk "history", and accused him of abusive behavior. Speaking to reporters Friday, he did not rule out that Pronk might be allowed to visit Khartoum, but said he would not be recognized as a diplomat.

"We terminated his mandate, his responsibilities as the special envoy of the secretary general. It is our right to do so if somebody is threatening our national interest, and in any other capacity that is a totally different issue, but for us, his functions as special envoy of the secretary-general have ceased to exist," he said.

After Friday's Security Council briefing, the Council president for October, Japanese Ambassador Kenzo Oshima defended Pronk and said there had been wide praise from members for his willingness to speak frankly about the dire conditions in Darfur.

"In a situation such as in Darfur, where hundreds of thousands of people have perished. And millions are suffering in dire humanitarian situations, that frankness, that outspokenness can come only from a man who has deep conviction and commitment," he said.

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