Ashraf Qazi New Un Envoy To Sudan
(Misna) The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon formalised the nomination of Ashraf Qazi as the new UN special representative for Sudan. The announcement was made today in Juba, South Sudan, in a joint press conference with the South Sudanese Vice-President Salva Kiir. Ban cited Qazi's "wide and extensive diplomatic experience" in naming him to the post in place of Jan Pronk, expelled by Khartoum authorities last year for criticising the army over its conduct against rebels in Darfur, the western region of the nation theatre to a violent conflict since 2003. Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, a Pakistani with an Irish mother, was the special envoy to Iraq. Qazi is considered a long experienced diplomat with excellent capabilities - apparently decisive in contributing to the reinforcement of the UN in Iraq - and his presence is expected to be fundamental for a solution to the Darfur crisis. According to the international press, Qazi's name was presented to the Sudanese government two weeks ago, but there was some criticism due to his Muslim faith. The population of South Sudan is in fact prevalently Christian and Animist, in contrast with the Muslim majority north. Staffan de Mistura may replace the Pakistani diplomat in Baghdad. The UN Secretary General is in Sudan on a six day tour in the continent that will also bring him to Chad and Libya.