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UN denies evacuation of its staff from Sudan

January 25, 2009 (KHARTOUM) --- The United Nations Mission in Sudan has vehemently dismissed reports published today by the local press speaking UNMIS decision to evacuate its foreign staff if the International Criminal Court decide to issue an arrest warrant for the Sudanese president.

Ashraf Qazi, the head of UNIMIS

The report which originally emanated from the Sudanese Media Service, a news service sponsored by the security and intelligences services says that the UNMIS Security coordinator had told the Sudanese staff they would be evacuated with the foreign personnel outside the country if the ICC decides to indict Al-Bashir.

"The UN Mission in Sudan is disappointed that some Sudanese daily newspapers on Sunday reported that the Mission intends to evacuate international and national staff members in reaction to a possible decision from the CC," worded a statement released today.

"These reports are inaccurate and misleading."

The UNMIS reminded that it will continue to perform its mandate related to the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) "regardless of any ICC decision."

The mission invited the media to check their stories on the UNMIS with "the office of the UNMIS Spokesperson in order to avoid publications of false rumors and creating unnecessary confusion."

Observers in Khartoum suspect the Sudanese authorities of creating a hostile environment for the UN institutions and its missions in the Sudan, saying government is always trying to link between the ICC and them.