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Sudan Tribune

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Britain calls on Sudan to reconsider expulsion of UN officials

December 27, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Britain condemned Sudan’s decision to expel two United Nations officials and called on Khartoum to reconsider its decisions.

This week, Sudan expelled the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) country director and a Dutch national Yvonne Helle and UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator Ali al-Za’atari of Jordan.

Khartoum said Helle was “extremely prejudiced” and “arrogant”, while al-Za’atari was accused of insulting the Sudanese people and their political leadership in an interview with a Norwegian newspaper .

Commenting on the Sudanese government decision against the two UN officials, the British minister for Africa, James Duddridge slammed the move and joined calls by UN chief Ban Ki-moon to reverse this decision.

“I condemn the deeply regrettable decision by the Government of Sudan to expel two senior United Nations staff,” said Duddridge in a statement released on Saturday.

“It is essential that the Government of Sudan co-operate with UN missions and agencies in their country; and I join with the Secretary General in calling on the Government of Sudan to reverse this decision,” he further said.

In a response to Ban’s statement, the Sudanese foreign ministry said committed to the UN charter and vowed to keep cooperating with its institutions.

However, it explained that the two expelled officials bypassed their mandate and warned that the government will repeat such expulsions if necessary against any diplomat or international official who exceeds his mandate.

Sudanese government had expelled in the past, the former UN resident coordinator Mukesh Kapila in 2004 and the former UN special envoy for Sudan Jan Pronk in 2006. Both were accused of criticising the government policy in Darfur.