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9 Jun, 2023 11:32

UN representative expelled from Sudan

Volker Perthes has been declared “persona non grata,” the Foreign Ministry has announced
UN representative expelled from Sudan

Sudan’s government has expelled Volker Perthes, the special representative of the UN secretary-general in the country. The Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that the envoy had been declared “persona non grata.”

The move comes two weeks after Sudan’s de facto leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, demanded that Perthes be removed from his post.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last month, the Sudanese army commander allegedly accused Perthes of “being partisan” in his mediation efforts both before and during the conflict between the army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group. The envoy was also accused of exacerbating tensions.

Guterres was “shocked” by the letter, according to spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who added that the secretary-general was proud of Perthes’ work.

Last Friday, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) for six months. The council said it has asked the secretary-general to continue reporting on the implementation of the mission’s mandate every 90 days until December 3.

Perthes, who serves as head of UNITAMS, was in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Thursday, where he engaged in a series of diplomatic discussions, the mission said in a tweet.

The fighting in Sudan has killed more than 1,000 people since April 15, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, while the UN says more than 1.2 million have been displaced.