0916 GMT February 24, 2020
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Ali al-Za'tari and the UNDP's Country Director Yvonne Helle were told to leave Sudan for "insulting" the country and being "prejudiced" against its government, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Friday, Press TV reported.
Za'tari, a Jordanian national, was ordered to leave the country for "insulting the Sudanese people and its political leadership in an interview with a Norwegian newspaper," the statement noted.
A website close to Sudan's security organization said earlier this month that Za'tari had criticized Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in an interview with the Bistandsaktuelt newspaper.
Za'tari confirmed the interview but rejected the comments attributed to him.
According to the statement, Helle, a Dutch national, was expelled because she was "strongly prejudiced against the Sudanese government" and "treated Sudanese officials with arrogance."
Helle had "stopped technical and financial support for a number of projects and strategic plans" without consulting the Sudanese government, the statement said.
The expulsions come as Sudan's government is locked in a dispute with the joint UN-African Union Mission in Darfur, known as UNAMID.
The Sudanese government has already shut UNAMID's human rights office in the capital city of Khartoum and called on the mission to prepare an exit plan.
According to official reports, 61 peacekeepers have been killed since the beginning of UNAMID mission in Darfur in 2007.
Darfur has been the scene of violence since 2003, when rebels took up arms against the government in Khartoum. There has been also tribal fighting in the region.
The United Nations estimates that more than 300,000 people have been killed in Darfur since the violence began.