UN chief condemns UN officials’ expulsion by Sudan

United Nations, Dec 26 (IANS) United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Thursday condemned Sudanese government’s decision to expel two senior UN officials.

A statement issued here by Ban’s spokesperson said, “The sanctioning of United Nations personnel sent to Sudan to carry out their duties in accordance with its Charter is unacceptable.”
Ban called on the government of Sudan to reverse its decision immediately and urged it to cooperate fully with all UN entities present in the country.
According to reports, the two officials are Ali Al-Za’tari, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator, and Yvonne Helle, the country director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The move came days after Sudan denied peacekeepers access to the site of an alleged mass rape of some 200 women and girls in western Darfur, a region plagued by conflict.
Tensions have been simmering across Darfur throughout the past few months. In October, an attack on the peacekeepers of the AU-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) by armed militants claimed the lives of three peacekeepers.
The UN estimates stated some 385,000 people have been displaced by the conflict between the government of Sudan and armed movements in Darfur since the start of 2014.