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Sudanese ambassador: U.N. envoy 'abused his authority'

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UNITED NATIONS (CNN) -- The Sudanese ambassador to the United Nations lambasted the body's chief envoy to Sudan on Thursday for insulting the country's government and army on a Web blog.

"He abused his authority, his mandate," Abdalmahmood Mohamad said of envoy Jan Pronk.

Pronk "was not faithful to the mandate of the United Nations," Mohamad said. "He lost his impartiality and integrity in the country. He became part of the problem rather than the solution.

"For all these reasons, he left the government with no other choice but to ask for his replacement," Mohamad added.

Mohamad met with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Thursday.

On Sunday, the Sudanese government gave Pronk 72 hours to leave the country after he criticized Khartoum as well as rebel groups on his blog. (Full story)

Pronk has sharply criticized the Arab-dominated Sudanese government, which unleashed Arab militias known as Janjaweed into Darfur about three years ago. The Janjaweed are accused of systematically raping women and killing scores of non-Arab in villages throughout Sudan.

On Monday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Sudan's decision to expel Pronk "unfortunate in the extreme."

The Bush administration has labeled the crisis a genocide.

"The plight of the people in Darfur is the making of the Sudanese," Pronk told CNN Correspondent Jeff Koinange in an interview Wednesday. "The people have been forgotten, neglected, marginalized. The government is responsible for using the army and Arab militia, which kill and kill and do not abide by any rule, let alone human rights rules."

Pronk drew sharp criticism from the Sudanese military this month after blogging that government forces had suffered serious losses recently at the hands of rebels in Darfur.

In an October 14 blog entry, Pronk wrote: "First, the SAF [Sudanese Armed Forces] has lost two major battles -- last month in Umm Sidir and this week in Karakaya. The losses seem to have been very high. Reports speak about hundreds of casualties in each of the two battles with many wounded and many taken as prisoner."

"The morale in the government army in North Darfur has gone down. Some generals have been [fired]; soldiers have refused to fight," the Dutch diplomat said.

On Thursday, Mohamad said Pronk was not truthful about the army, saying that Pronk relied on unverified third party accounts.

Pronk was sent to Sudan to try to convince the government and rebel factions to comply with a peace agreement signed about five months ago.

A U.N. resolution approved August 31 authorized the creation of a more robust, better-equipped U.N. peacekeeping mission. But Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has refused to accept such a force, saying it would violate his country's sovereignty.

Pronk has urged countries to push for a prolonged and beefed-up African Union force.

An estimated 200,000 Sudanese have been killed and more than 2 million displaced in the Darfur province in western Sudan since the conflict began, according to the United Nations. An African Union peacekeeping force has been unable to stop the violence.

"More than 2 million people in camps. You can say that Darfur has been cleansed," Pronk said in the CNN interview. "The international community took action too little and too late."

He added: "For many people, it is too late. They cannot be salvaged anymore because they have been killed, they have raped, atrocities have taken place with impunity in this part of the country."



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