UNITED NATIONS, December 17. /TASS/. Russia’s UN mission has condemned an article by Reuters on the performance of a Russian official from the African Union-UN peacekeeping mission in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region (UNAMID), which has been at the center of a scandal.
The mission has called the article published on Sunday, alleging that Moscow opposes Western requests to fire the Russian diplomat, “an example of dirty journalism.” The mission insisted that its author Louis Charbonneau and the editor “should be fired” on the basis Reuters' declaring that their “journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation.”
Although the piece quotes a spokesman for the Russian mission as saying that “we are not aware of any complaints” about Karen Tchalian (a senior Russian official at UNAMID), "the author chooses to believe unnamed envoys who, somehow, possess better knowledge of our actions than we do,” the mission says.
Reuters said citing UN diplomatic sources that the United States, Britain and France have requested to fire the Russian diplomat who is still serving as UNAMID chief of staff. The article says that Tchalian is considered to bear responsibility for withholding information from the UN headquarters and the Security Council about attacks of Sudan’s government on civilians and peacekeepers in Darfur.
The UN peacekeeping department earlier launched its internal investigation, and in late October it was announced that the checks found no evidence that the crimes had been silenced on purpose.