African Press International (API)

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Posted by African Press International on September 4, 2007

Khartoum (Sudan) Sudans coalition government partner, the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement (SPLM), has denounced as “unacceptable” the recent expulsion of diplomats and a humanitarian aid agency director from the country.

The junior coalition government partner said it had not been consulted.

“What happened is unacceptable to us. We should be consulted and our views taken into consideration,” Yassir Arman, deputy secretary general of the former southern rebel group, said on Monday.

On August 23, the Sudan foreign ministry expelled European Union Commission Ambassador Kent Degerfelt and acting Canadian charge daffaires Nuala Lawlor, saying they had meddled in the countrys internal affairs.

Three days later, Sudan ordered Paul Barker, director of the US-based aid agency CARE, to leave the country, citing similar reasons.

The SPLM signed a peace deal with the dominant northern National Congress Party (NCP) in 2005, ending decades of north-south conflict that killed an estimated 2 million people and displaced some 4 million from their homes.

But their relations has not been smooth since then, with SPLM officials accusing the NCP of stalling implementation of the peace deal and not consulting on key foreign policy decisions.

“It is regrettable that the National Congress is working alone and this will jeopardize the working relationship between the SPLM and the National Congress,” Arman said.

Khartoum revoked Degerfelts expulsion following an apology from the European Union, allowing him to stay indefinitely.

On Sunday, officials said discussions were ongoing for the possible return of Barker.

However, the SPLM said the damage had already been done.

“This is going to raise questions about the meaning of the national unity government,” said Arman, adding that the SPLM learned about the expulsions like anybody else “as if we are outsiders”.

Published by Korir, API*APN tel+4793299739 or+4763002525 source.apa

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