Monday, October 23, 2006

Blogged Out

The government in Khartoum has expelled the UN's chief envoy in Sudan, Jan Pronk, for comments he made in his blog about the military situation in Darfur. The New York Times has the story here. Chris Borgen and Roger Alford at Opinio Juris both have posts on this development. Professor Alford speculates that "perhaps the UN wanted to give Pronk freedom to speak more candidly by describing the blog as personal reflections," a stance that would protect the UN while "free[ing] the diplomat to pursue a more effective strategy of public condemnation." I tend to think there was less coordination between Pronk and UN headquarters than Professor Alford's speculation suggests, but regardless I agree with both Alford and Borgen that it's surprising (or, in Alford's word, "refreshing") to hear of a top UN diplomat blogging about his work.