Home | News    Monday 26 June 2006

UN denies being informed of suspension of its activities in Darfur

June 25, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — A UN spokesperson denied here on Sunday that the world body had been officially informed of the Sudanese government’s decision to suspend UN activities in the country’s troubled western region of Darfur.

Spokesperson for the United Nations advance mission in Sudan (unamis) Radhia Achori.(AP).

"We have not received any formal or official notification on the decision from the Sudanese government," Radhia Achouri, spokeswoman of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), told Xinhua.

"We cannot make comments on what we have seen in the press media," the spokeswoman added.

Meanwhile, a Sudanese official source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that the decision to suspend UN activities in Darfur was made because an UN helicopter had transported Suleiman Adam Jamous, a senior member of a Darfur rebel group who rejected a peace agreement, without consultations with the Sudanese government.

He also said that since Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Sudan Jan Pronk was currently in the Dutch capital Amsterdam, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry was to summon another UNMIS official instead to clarify the incident.

On Saturday night, the Sudanese government ordered Darfur localauthorities to suspend UN activities in the region except humanitarian work of the World Food Program (WFP) and other international aid agencies.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry announced in a statement that the government had to take this decision because the UNMIS overstepped its mandate by airlifting the leader of the Darfur rebel movement al-Fashir to Masbad and then to Kadugli. Allof the three towns were located in Darfur.

"The suspension will be lifted when the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Sudan (Pronk) clarifies the UNMIS’ position," the statement added.

The Sudanese government signed the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA)with a main faction in the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement (SLA) led by Minna Arkou Minawi in the Nigerian Capital Abuja on May 5.

The rival SLA faction led by al-Wahid Mohammed al-Nour and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) led by Khalil Ibrahim have so far refused to ink the DPA, insisting on modifications of the deal.