UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called his special representative in Sudan back to New York amid allegations that the envoy had launched a "psychological war" against the Sudanese army, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced on Sunday.
In a statement released by the spokesman, Annan said he had received on Sunday morning a letter from the Sudanese government requesting him to recall Jan Pronk, who was named by Annan as UN special representative for Sudan in June 2004.
The Secretary-General was reviewing the letter and had, in the meantime, requested Pronk to come to the UN headquarters for consultations, Dujarric told reporters.
It was reported that the Sudanese foreign ministry had given Pronk 72 hours to leave the country. The Sudanese side has accused the UN envoy of launching a psychological war against its army by spreading fabricated information doubting the force's capability of maintaining security and stability.
Pronk wrote in his personal blog last week that the Sudanese army had lost two major battles in Darfur, suffering heavy casualties. One of the battles took place in Umm Sidir last month and the other was in Karakaya earlier this month.
Conflicts flared up in Sudan's western region of Darfur in February 2003, after local rebels took up arms against the government, accusing it of neglecting the barren region.
The violence has killed and displaced many people.
(Xinhua News Agency October 23, 2006)