Pronk remains UN envoy to Sudan: spokesman

UN envoy to Sudan Jan Pronk continues to be the special representative of the UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan despite the Sudanese government demand that he leave the country, said a chief UN spokesman here Monday.

Pronk still serves "with the full support of the secretary- general. As far as we are concerned, his status remains unchanged, " Chief UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at the daily press briefing.

Sudanese Foreign Ministry officials told Pronk on Sunday that the government considered his mission was over and he had 72 hours to leave the country. He was headed to UN headquarters in New York on Monday.

The order came after the UN envoy posted comments on his Web log, saying that the Sudanese army's morale was low after suffering two major defeats in Darfur region.

But Dujarric said Pronk had only been called to New York for consultations and would continue to serve as the special representative of the secretary-general. He said Pronk will arrive in New York Wednesday.

But the spokesman did not say the incident would complicate the world body's effort to move a UN peacekeeping force into Darfur to replace a smaller, ill-equipped African Union force now there.

Pronk, 66, a former Dutch cabinet minister and member of parliament, was named the UN special representative for Sudan in June 2004.

Source: Xinhua

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