Did Pronk pull a prank?

Sudan expert Eric Reeves adds some interesting context to the expulsion of UN envoy Jan Pronk after he blogged candidly about Sudanese battlefield losses. The press generally portrayed the move as yet another example of Sudan’s willful disregard for international opinion (and it certainly was that). But Reeves speculates that Pronk may have wanted to be ...

By , a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.
606476_Pronk5.jpg
606476_Pronk5.jpg
Jan Pronk, the special representative of the United Nations Secretary General to the Sudan, speaks in Khartoum Wednesday, May 25, 2005. Pronk on Wednesday said he hopes to convince the world through the coming visit of the UN secretary general to the Sudan that the situation in Darfur has improved, though it was far from the ideal situation. The U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will pay a three day visit to Sudan starting on Friday May 27, 2005. (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)

Sudan expert Eric Reeves adds some interesting context to the expulsion of UN envoy Jan Pronk after he blogged candidly about Sudanese battlefield losses. The press generally portrayed the move as yet another example of Sudan's willful disregard for international opinion (and it certainly was that). But Reeves speculates that Pronk may have wanted to be expelled—because the UN was going to can him soon anyway.

[I]t is difficult to believe that Pronk was unaware of the effect these words, in his widely read web log, would have; some have suggested that Pronk deliberately engineered his own expulsion, rather than be "retired" from his position following the ascension of a new UN Secretary-General. Given the high level of anger and frustration with Pronk, within the UN and by many within the humanitarian and human rights community, he must have realized his days were numbered and may very well have chosen to instigate his expulsion.

Sudan expert Eric Reeves adds some interesting context to the expulsion of UN envoy Jan Pronk after he blogged candidly about Sudanese battlefield losses. The press generally portrayed the move as yet another example of Sudan’s willful disregard for international opinion (and it certainly was that). But Reeves speculates that Pronk may have wanted to be expelled—because the UN was going to can him soon anyway.

[I]t is difficult to believe that Pronk was unaware of the effect these words, in his widely read web log, would have; some have suggested that Pronk deliberately engineered his own expulsion, rather than be “retired” from his position following the ascension of a new UN Secretary-General. Given the high level of anger and frustration with Pronk, within the UN and by many within the humanitarian and human rights community, he must have realized his days were numbered and may very well have chosen to instigate his expulsion.

David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist

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