UN peacekeeper honoured in Sudan

President Omar al-Beshir granted the outgoing head of the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Darfur region one of the country’s top honours in a ceremony in Khartoum, a UN spokesperson said.
Beshir, wanted by the International Criminal Court on suspicion on war crimes in Darfur, “praised” Rodolphe Adada and awarded him the Order of the Two Niles, Noureddine Mezni, press officer for the UNAMID peacekeepers, told reporters.

Adada, who stood down yesterday as head of the world’s largest peacekeeping force following a two-year mandate, received the award on a farewell visit to Beshir.

The former foreign minister of the Republic of Congo raised eyebrows at the UN Security Council in April when he said unrest in the troubled Darfur region had quietened to a “low intensity conflict”.

His mandate was renewed for six months from July but Adada resigned with effect from the end of July.

He said he left for personal reasons but UN and Sudanese sources took the view that he was pushed out by countries who did not like his comments on Darfur.
“The enemies of Sudan were not pleased by the report of Rodolphe Adada on Darfur, therefore they refused to renew his office term,” Beshir said last week, according to official Suna news agency.
“Although on several occasions intense pressure has been brought to bear on me, I have always refused to buckle under this pressure and implement any other agenda but that of the Security Council mandate,” Adada wrote on Sunday in a letter to the people of Darfur.

He told AFP last month: “I have achieved results. The main result is the end of massacres in Darfur.”

The conflict in the Darfur region has caused 300 000 deaths since 2003 and displaced 2.7 million people, according to UN figures. Khartoum says 10 000 have died.

Pic: President Omar al-Beshir of Sudan