Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Sudan won't give visas to US, British, French envoys

22 April 2015, 10:44

New York - Khartoum has so far declined to issue visas for senior US, British and French diplomats hoping to conduct a fact-finding mission in Sudan's conflict-torn Darfur region, UN diplomatic sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

They said Sudan's failure to grant visas to the deputy UN ambassadors of the three veto-wielding Western powers was a further sign of Khartoum's increasingly confrontational approach to the United Nations and the West over the UN-African Union mission to Darfur (Unamid), which Khartoum wants shut.

The sources said the diplomats wanted to visit Darfur in January, and that British Deputy UN Ambassador Peter Wilson was intending to lead the trip. At that time Unamid was under fire for its poor performance and withholding of information about violence against civilians and peacekeepers in Darfur.

Khartoum was obstructing a UN investigation of an alleged mass rape in Darfur and had expelled several senior UN officials from Sudan.

Other senior diplomats

The other two senior diplomats hoping to go to Darfur are David Pressman of the United States and Alexis Lamek of France.

"Not permitting ambassadors from the United States, Britain and France to go to Darfur shows how unco-operative the government of Sudan has become," a diplomatic source said on condition of anonymity. "Khartoum wants Unamid out of Sudan."

The trio still hopes the visit will occur, diplomats say, as violence in Darfur increases and Khartoum demands Unamid's withdrawal. Sudan's UN mission did not respond to requests for comment.

A British diplomat confirmed Wilson had planned to lead the trip and said Britain had a strong interest in improving Unamid and gauging the conditions for the mission's roughly 19 000 peacekeepers.

Diplomats said that in negotiations with the United Nations on an exit strategy for Unamid, Khartoum is demanding that 15 000 blue-helmeted peacekeepers be withdrawn by the end of 2015. Washington rejects that demand.

Decade-long conflict

Max Gleischman, spokesman for the US mission to the United Nations, said Unamid still has important role to play in protecting civilians.

"We vehemently oppose any effort to draw down or close the mission prematurely," he said. "We have seen more displacement in Darfur in the last year than in the history of the decade-long conflict."

He added that Khartoum continued to obstruct Unamid's work on a daily basis.

Law and order have collapsed in much of Darfur, where mainly non-Arab rebels took up arms in 2003 against the Arab-led government in Khartoum, accusing it of discrimination.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
William Korir
ODM kicks 6 MPs out of Parliament...

ODM has kicked 6 rebel members out of house committees. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Karua now headed to Jubilee?

Is Martha Karua now headed to the Jubilee Coalition? Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Kenneth defends move to support U...

Peter Kenneth says that moving to support President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee Party is his democratic choice. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
How to keep her interested

It is not only men who lose interest in relationships. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What to do after breakup

Your life does not end after breakup. Here are tips to move on: Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Rare gift for President Uhuru Ken...

Young Jubilee supporters have a rare surprise gift for the President. Read more...