Iraq expells five U.N. officials

Wednesday, September 5, 2001

Associated Press WriterBAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq has expelled five U.N. officials it accuses of jeopardizing its security and sovereignty.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said the officials were from the U.N. office that oversees the oil-for-food program.

The United Nations monitors Iraqi oil sales and the use of the proceeds to buy necessities for ordinary Iraqis. Iraq chafes at the program as a violation of its independence.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, accused the five officials of "jeopardizing the security and the integrity of Iraq."

He added that his country "has the evidence of their involvement in activities inconsistent with their assigned responsibilities as U.N employees." He did not elaborate.

The spokesman said the five would not be allowed to come back to Iraq.

The U.N. office in Baghdad said the United Nations protested the expulsion, but that the four workers still in the country when the order was received left Tuesday. The four, all Nigerians, were in neighboring Jordan Wednesday, the United Nations said.

The fifth, a Bosnian woman, had already left the country before Iraq's expulsion order was delivered to the U.N. officials on Sunday.

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