News ID: 115867
Publish Date : 09 June 2023 - 22:18

Sudan’s Government Declares UN Envoy ‘Persona Non Grata’

CAIRO (AP) — The Sudanese government announced that the UN envoy to the country and key mediator in its brutal conflict is no longer welcome as the warring sides in the African nation agreed to a new, 24-hour cease-fire.
Sudan’s Foreign Ministry issued a terse statement late Thursday, weeks after the military chief, Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, demanded in a letter that envoy Volker Perthes be removed from his post. The ministry said UN ecretary-General António Guterres was notified that Perthes was declared “persona non grata.”
Since mid-April, Sudan’s military, headed by Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, or RSF, led by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, have been locked in a violent conflict. The fighting has killed more than 860 civilians, according to Sudan’s Doctors’ Syndicate, which tracks civilian casualties, though the actual death toll is likely much higher.
On Friday, the military and the RSF agreed to another truce, to last 24 hours, starting 6 a.m. on Saturday. The case-fire was announced by Saudi Arabia and the United States in a joint statement, carried by the kingdom’s Saudi Press Agency.
Washington and Riyadh have been mediating in Sudan’s fighting — the latest truce is to be the eighth such cease-fire since the clashes first erupted two months ago. All past agreements have foundered.
Despite the breakdown, the two mediators said they remain in contact with both sides in hopes of reviving the peace talks.
Perthes has been a key mediator in Sudan since 2021, first during the country’s failed attempts to transition to democracy and then as relations between the military and the RSF deteriorated. Perthes’ native Germany condemned Sudan’s announcement.
“The international community, including the German government, continues to stand fully behind Mr. Perthes and his efforts,” said Andrea Sasse, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry in Berlin.
She said Perthes will continue to do his job from Kenya, from where he is supporting efforts in Jeddah to get the warring parties back to the table.
Perthes, who was in Ethiopia on Thursday, did not immediately comment on Sudan’s announcement. The German diplomat had received death threats and numerous calls to resign in recent months.