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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 February 2006, 01:34 GMT
Sudan attacks UN envoy on Darfur
Jan Pronk
Sudan says Mr Pronk's comments have infringed on state sovereignty
Sudan's government has summoned the UN envoy, Jan Pronk, over comments about the troubled region of Darfur which it said infringed on state sovereignty.

Acting Foreign Minister Ali Ahmad Karti criticised Mr Pronk and the UN's "conduct and attitudes".

In January, the UN said an expanded peacekeeping force was needed to cope with continuing violence in the region.

UK Minister for International Development Hilary Benn is to visit peacekeepers in Darfur on Tuesday.

Sudan opposed the UN's plan for more peacekeepers, saying funds should go to the African force already there.

'Totally rejected'

Mr Karti said statements made by Mr Pronk and his aides tarnished Sudan's image and infringed on its sovereignty, state news agency Suna reported.

He told the UN envoy that Sudan "totally rejected" this attitude.

He said that while Sudan did not oppose cooperation with the UN, it had the right to reject the organization's "conduct" if it felt that the UN had "other agendas".

In January, the UN said it was drawing up plans to deploy a quick reaction force in the Darfur region after the African Union said that it might be forced to hand over its peacekeeping mission because of a lack of funds.

There are currently 7,000 African Union peacekeepers in Darfur.

Sudan has opposed a UN peace force in Darfur, saying the extra money would be better spent on helping the African force already there.

Minister's visit

UK Minister Hilary Benn has arrived in Sudan for a visit to the Darfur region. On Tuesday, he will visit refugee camps and meet members of the African Union peacekeeping force.

The BBC's Jonah Fisher says he is sure to discuss the likely replacement of the African Union force with a larger and better-funded United Nations mission.

Fighting between rebel groups and pro-government Janjaweed militias has forced some 2m people to flee their homes in the region.


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