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Sudan accuses UN envoy of inflaming fighting, declares him “persona non grata”

The UN envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, has been declared “persona non grata” by the government which means he is no longer recognised.

“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 head of the Sudanese armed forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan had recently accused Mr. Perthes of stoking the country’s conflict.

In May he wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, asking for Perthes to be removed.

Mr. Perthes who was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Thursday for a series of diplomatic talks has been key in ongoing mediation processes.

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First he helped with the country’s initial attempts to transition to democracy and then after worsening tensions between Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) exploded into open fighting in April.

He had been on the wrong side of the leaders of both factions after criticizing them while they failed to maintain a ceasefire.

The Security Council last week voted to extend the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission (UNITAMS) in Sudan’s mandate for a mere six months compared to a typical one-year term.

UNITAMS was created in June 2020 for the peaceful and democratic transition of power in Sudan after the fall of Islamist-military ruler Imar-al-Bashir a year before.

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