The Sudanese government has declared United Nations (UN) envoy to the country, Volker Perthes, as “persona non grata,” reported Africa News.
“The Government of the Republic of Sudan has notified the Secretary-General of the United Nations that it has declared Mr. Volker Perthes … persona non grata as of today,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Thursday.
The announcement comes two weeks after the army chief accused him of fueling the country’s civil conflict.
General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, the head of the Sudanese army, had called for the dismissal of Perthes, accusing him of being responsible for the war that broke out between his troops and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in April. He even called out UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint somebody else in place of Perthes.
Burhan claimed that Perthes’ presence had a negative impact on the impression of the UN. He added that during the duration during which Perthes was at the head of the mission, the UNITAMS had no contribution to the successful transition.
UN chief Guterres has repeatedly defended Perthes who criticized the warring Sudanese parties and said those responsible were the two generals at war.
The conflict has killed more than 1,800 people and displaced 1.2 million with more than 425,000 fleeing abroad.
According to the UN mission’s Twitter feed, Perthes was in Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa on Thursday meeting representatives from the African Union and the eight-nation Eastern Africa bloc, IGAD.
The UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) was established in June 2020 to support the Sudanese democratic transition after ousting of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir a year earlier. UNITAMS’s mandate had previously been renewed annually for a year, but, last week, the Security Council voted to extend the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) for only six months.