The Sudanese government protested remarks attributed to Malaysia’s special envoy to Darfur in which he blamed Khartoum for the situation in the war ravaged region, according to media reports.
Sudan’s ambassador to Kuala Lumpur Nader Youssef said in press statements that he had lodged a formal complaint with the Malaysian foreign ministry against its envoy Syed Ariff Fadzillah.
The Malaysia official has reportedly decried the situation in Darfur saying that "serious violations" are taking place. He also accused Khartoum of lacking seriousness in its quest for peace in the region.
Youssef stressed that the position articulated by Fadzillah does not represent those of the Malaysian government.
"We have expressed our rejection to the statements made by the envoy that are not consistent with the policy of the Malaysian government," the Sudanese ambassador said according to the Khartoum-based Al-Sahafa newspaper.
He further said that the Malaysian special envoy went beyond his humanitarian mandate to extend to political issues.
Youssef said that they have to yet to ascertain the authenticity of the remarks but also noted that Fadzillah has neither confirmed nor denied them.
It is not clear where or when the Malaysian special envoy made these highly unusual statements on Darfur which comes from a government that has traditionally been a strong ally to Khartoum.
The New Straits Times newspaper quoted Fadzillah in an interview last month as expressing pessimism over the future of Darfur more than eight years after the conflict erupted.
"Not many are talking about Darfur now. There is a different focus in Sudan with the imminent creation of a new state in Southern Sudan," he said.
"The referendum in Sudan has cost the people of Darfur. The humanitarian problem can be expected to assume new proportions. They will become much worse with so many people crowding into the area" the Malaysian special envoy added.
Fadzillah, who assumed this role in 2007, pledged to press his government to provide more funds for humanitarian efforts in Darfur.
"I intend to brief the minister on what is happening in Darfur and how Malaysia is helping in the humanitarian effort. We need to review our activities there."
The United Nations estimates some 300,000 people have died since mostly non-Arab rebels took up arms in Sudan’s west against Khartoum in early 2003.
The world’s largest U.N.-funded peacekeeping mission (UNAMID) works in Darfur but has struggled to stop clashes.
Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and genocide in Darfur, the only sitting head of state the court has indicted.
After the ICC warrant for Bashir, he expelled 13 aid agencies working in Darfur and a wave of kidnappings targeting foreigners has restricted those remaining to the main towns.