Sudan summons British envoy over newspaper interview


The Sudan government has summoned the British ambassador in Khartoum over dissatisfaction about an interview he gave to a local newspaper this week.

The country’s foreign ministry summoned Michael Aron on Thursday afternoon over comments he made that were deemed to portray Sudan’s foreign debts and the situation in western Darfur in a negative way.

Aron arrived in Sudan in mid-August and gave an interview to the political daily Al-Mijhar al-Siyasi that was published on Monday, in which he discussed the situation in Darfur and Sudan’s foreign debts among other topics.

The ministry released a statement saying that Aron had expressed his deep regret and apologised for the comments attributed to him.

A spokesperson from the British embassy however said that they were clear that the comments were not meant to cause any offence and that Sudan is indeed facing some political challenges.

He added that Britain looked forward to working with the Sudan government and the Sudanese people towards a peaceful resolution of the problems.

Darfur has been wrecked by conflicts since 2003 when ethnic insurgents mounted a rebellion against the Arab-dominated Khartoum government, complaining of marginalisation.

The United Nations says that more than 300,000 people have been killed and some 2.5 million displaced in the fighting, although Khartoum estimates the death toll to be just around 10,000.