The Sudanese government has declared UN Special Representative in Sudan Volker Perthes “persona non grata”.
“The Government of the Republic of Sudan has notified the Secretary-General of the United Nations of declaring Mr. Volker Perthes, Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and Head of the UNITAMS Mission, persona non grata, as of today’s date,” Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a written statement on Thursday.
In a letter last month, General Abdel Fattah al Burhan, the chairman of the Sudanese Sovereignty Council and chief of the armed forces, asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to nominate an alternative candidate to Perthes.
Burhan claimed that Perthes had misinformed in the reports he presented to them, arguing that there was a consensus on the framework agreement signed on December 5, 2022 between the military and civilian groups and that these allegations clearly contradicted the facts.
Claiming that the presence of Perthes had a negative impact on the impression towards the UN, Burhan said the length of time Perthes was at the head of the mission was an indication that UNITAMS did not contribute to the successful transition.
UN chief shocked
Guterres was shocked by the letter, according to a statement made on the Twitter account of the spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General.
He was proud of the work of Perthes and reaffirmed his full confidence in him in the statement.
Since April, fighting between Sudanese army led by General Abdel Fattah al Burhan and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) led by commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo has gripped Khartoum and the western region of Darfur, defying a series of truces.
Upwards of 1,800 people have been killed, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, and the UN says 1.2 million have been displaced, with more than 425,000 fleeing abroad.
Those unable to leave have been forced to camp out for weeks as supplies of food and other vital goods have been depleted.
Entire districts of Khartoum no longer have running water, electricity is only available for a few hours a week and three-quarters of the hospitals in combat zones are not functioning.
The most recent truce was agreed to allow desperately needed humanitarian aid into areas of Sudan ravaged by the fighting, but like all those that preceded, the accord was routinely violated by both sides.