Sudan expels UN agency chief

Pamela DeLargy, head of UN's Population Fund office in Khartoum, asked to leave for "failing to abide by nation's laws".

    Sudan has expelled the head of a United Nations agency in the country, accusing her of interfering in domestic affairs, the foreign ministry said.

    Ministry spokesman Abubakr al-Siddiq said Pamela DeLargy, an American who headed the UN's Population Fund office (UNFPA), "was asked to leave" on Wednesday, reported the AFP news agency.

    It quoted al-Siddiq as saying that "she was not abiding by the country's laws, and also because she was interfering in the country's domestic affairs in a manner that is inconsistent with her status as a UN official".

    "I would also like to confirm that this move has nothing to do with the UNFPA whose missions and programmes are very much appreciated by my government," the spokesman added.

    UN officials in Sudan declined to comment.

    The incident is the latest involving foreign aid workers in the country. In February Khartoum suspended activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross, accusing it of violating guidelines for working in the country.

    Siddiq said Sudan "will be more than happy" to receive a replacement for DeLargy, "and will extend to him or her all the necessary assistance and cooperation within the framework of our national laws and agreements that  govern relations between the Sudan and UN agencies".

    In 2009 Sudan expelled several international aid groups from Darfur after the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir.

    He is wanted for alleged crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in the western region.

    DeLargy was one of very few Americans working for the UN in Sudan. 

    Washington has had a trade embargo against Khartoum since 1997 over accusations that included human rights violations.

    SOURCE: AFP


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