[JURIST] The United Nations Secretary-General on Friday condemned [press release] a decision by the Sudanese government to remove two senior UN officials from the country. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] issued a statement [text] which included remarks stating that the sanctioning of UN officials by the Sudanese government was “unacceptable.” UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Ali Al-Za’tari and UN Development Programme Country Director Yvonne Helle were reportedly ordered to leave the Sudan this past week. The UN’s condemnation of the Sudanese government is fueled by a continuing need for aid within the country due to the hostile climate in Darfur. International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has continually urged the UN to change its approach in the Sudan by pursuing individuals who are responsible for the heightened conflict in Darfur. Ban Ki-Moon is currently asking for the Sudan to reverse its decision and cooperate with the UN presence within its nation.
The Sudanese region has continued to be burdened by conflict, even after the 2011 secession [JURIST backgrounder] of South Sudan. In 2007 African Union/UN Hybrid Operations in Darfur (UNAMID) [official website] was established in Africa as a peacekeeping operation meant to promote human rights. Since its institution, however, UNAMID has been the target of many negative sentiments and attacks in the Sudanese region. In 2013 several peacekeepers in the Darfur area were killed [JURIST report], compelling the ICC to label such acts as war crimes.