UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday he has named Ashraf Qazi as his new special representative for Sudan to replace Jan Pronk who was expelled for criticising the army last year.
"I decided to choose Ashraf Qazi as my new special representative for Sudan," Ban said at a joint press conference with Sudanese First Vice President Salva Kiir in the southern Sudanese capital of Juba.
Ban cited Qazi's "wide and extensive diplomatic experience" in naming him to the post after Pronk was expelled in October 2006 for criticising the army over its conduct against rebels in the war-torn region of Darfur.
Khartoum has since expelled two other Western diplomats and a senior aid worker, although one of the diplomats was subsequently invited back.
Half-Irish Pakistani diplomat Qazi has been the secretary general's envoy to Iraq since 2004 where he replaced Sergio Vieira de Mello who was killed in a Baghdad bombing in August 2003.
Ban made Darfur his top priority after coming to office in January and his current visit to Sudan is aimed at jump-starting peace in the ravaged western Sudanese region.
The Security Council agreed on July 31 to dispatch a beefed-up 26,000-strong peacekeeping force from the United Nations and African Union which is not expected to be completely deployed before mid-2008.
Last Mod: 04 Eylül 2007, 16:17