Sudan criticizes UN chief over troop withdrawal

Sudan lashed out at UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday for recently criticizing the Sudanese military for not withdrawing all its troops from the country's south as required by a 2005 peace deal. The agreement ended the 21-year civil war between the mostly Muslim north and mainly Christian south and stipulated that the Sudanese military would relocate its soldiers by July 9, a deadline Ban said in a report Thursday it had not met. Sudan's military called Ban's criticism unwarranted because he did not focus on the other party to the peace deal, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, which Khartoum said was even further from compliance. "The armed forces strongly rejects the statement by the United Nations Secretary General regarding the unjustified condemnation that ... fails to deal with the parties on equal footing," Sudanese army spokesman Brigadier Mohamed Osman al-Agbash said in a written statement.