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Egypt slams UN chief’s remarks on death of Sudanese nationals near Israeli border

The foreign ministry says the comments by UN chief Ban Ki-moon relied on inaccurate information

Ahram Online , Tuesday 24 Nov 2015
Sameh Shoukry
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: AP)
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Egypt on Tuesday expressed discontent with remarks by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon a day earlier that condemned the killing of five Sudanese migrants near the Egyptian-Israeli border.

The army said that Egyptian border guards on Monday shot dead the African migrants in a gunfight near the Egypt-Israel border as they attempted to cross into Israel. 

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon later said he was “deeply troubled" by the killings, and called on Egyptian authorities to open a full probe into the incident and to "ensure accountability."

The comments were slammed by Egypt's foreign ministry as inaccurate.

"It's unfortunate that the approach of rushing to issue statements and criticism without relying on accurate information or viewing official statements by the government has continued," a foreign ministry statement read.

The ministry's spokesman, Ahmed Abou Zeid, called on the top UN official and his aides to view the army's statement released on Monday that emphasised that those killed were illegal migrants. He also said that the guards shot several warning shots at the “trespassers” who in response opened fire at the security forces, injuring a soldier.

A further six Sudanese nationals were injured while five others were arrested on the same day.

The spokesman condemned what he called a pattern to "criticise the performance of specific countries" at a time of mounting terrorism around the globe as well as many countries’ efforts to bolster border security.

Earlier in November, Egypt’s foreign ministry condemned remarks by secretary Ban ki-Moon who expressed concern over the detention of investigative journalist and rights advocate Hossam Bahgat. It urged the UN official at the time to be "cautious" and pay attention to "collective and systematic violations against nations" instead of addressing individual cases.

On 15 November, the bodies of 15 African migrants were found near the Israeli border after they had been shot dead.

 

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