Sudan Withdraws its Residence Permit to the Representative of the UN

Ivo Freijsen, chief officer for the UN humanitarian affairs, will therefore be “de facto” expelled from the country on June 6

May 30th, 2016

On Sunday 22nd of May, the UN declared in a press release that Sudanese authorities refused to renew the residence permit of Ivo Freijsen after it expires on June 6.

According to the United Nations, the Sudanese Foreign Minister gave no official reason to explain why Mr. Freijsen’s residence permit will not be renewed. This happens in spite of the request for a 12-months extension that has been submitted on April 10. Ivo Freijsen, who is Dutch, has been working for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs for 12 years. During is 22 year-long career, he worked 10 years in Sudan. He was “focusing on providing life-saving and emergency assistance to people in need”, said the UN.

It is not the first time that Sudan expels a UN officer, in the last two years no less than four UN officers that have seen their resident permit not to be renewed. “The action of the government of Sudan is inconsistent with the fundamental principles of the international civil service enshrined in the UN Charter, to which the Sudan is a party”, stated the UN in a press release. The spokesman for the Secretary-General expressed his “shock and disappointment” after the decision of Khartoum.

States started reacting after the announcement that Mr. Freijsen was expelled. “France is concerned […] these expulsions jeopardize the UN’s work in Sudan, and particularly its humanitarian efforts on the ground.” The work of OCHA in Sudan is critical, the humanitarian situation in the country and especially in war-torn areas such as Darfur is worrying and since 2003 more than 2 million people had to flee their house.


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Gaspard Fontaine, CD-News