KHARTOUM, Sudan on Sunday said it defended its decision to expel two senior UN officials from the country.
“Reversing the decision of expelling the two UN officials is out of the question and the UN Security Council would not be able to do anything as we are acting according to the UN Charter,” Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ali Karti told reporters.
He added that the decision to expel the two UN officials is a sovereign right granted by the UN Charter, noting that the government works to apply it against any personnel who surpasses the mandate.
The minister excluded that the expulsion decision would affect the development projects in Sudan.
The Sudanese minister’s remarks came after the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 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.
Last Thursday, the Sudanese authorities expelled Ali Al-Za’tari, UN resident coordinator at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Yvonne Helle, the UNDP’s country director.
The move came a few weeks following the statements attributed to Al-Za’tari and reported by a Norwegian paper that was described by local media as offensive to Sudan and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
As for Helle, Khartoum said she also offended the Sudanese people and government.