Sudan Government Evicts UN Envoy Over Blog Post

Posted on October 22, 2006

CBS News reports that the Sudan government has ordered chief U.N. envoy Jan Pronk of the Netherlands to leave the country for writing in his blog that the Sudanese army had suffered heavy losses in northern Darfur.
Tension between the government and Pronk escalated after he wrote in his personal Web blog this month (www.janpronk.nl) that Sudanese army losses in recent fighting in northern Darfur "seem to have been very high."

"Reports speak about hundreds of casualties in each of the two battles, many wounded soldiers and many taken as prisoner," he said, adding that morale was low among Sudanese troops in northern Darfur and "some generals have been sacked; soldiers have refused fighting."

On Thursday, the Sudanese armed forces said those remarks amounted to "psychological war against the Sudanese army" and declared that Pronk was "persona non-grata." One day later the military demanded an official apology.

According to the official news agency, the government said it was "committed to cooperate" with the U.N. and would work with Pronk's replacement "in accordance with signed treaties with the U.N. and the current principles of international law."
The Sudanese government has been accused of backing the murderous Janjaweed militia groups that rape women and destroy villages. The UN and an underwhelming African Union force of 7,000 troops are in Sudan to try and keep the peace in that country.