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Guterres ‘shocked’ by army chief’s request to fire UN envoy

The leader of the Sudanese army sent a letter defending that “the presence of Volker Perthes at the head of the UN mission does not help to implement the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Support Mission.”

The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, is “shocked” by the request of the head of the Sudanese army, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, to replace the UN special representative in the country, Volker Perthes.

“The Secretary General is shocked by the letter he received this morning from General Al-Burhan,” Guterres’s spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, said in a brief statement.

“The Secretary General is proud of the work of Volker Perthes and reaffirms his full confidence in his Special Representative,” he concluded.

Al-Burhan, who is also president of the Sovereign Transitional Council of Sudan, sent a letter to António Guterres on Friday asking him to dismiss the United Nations special representative in Sudan, considering that “The presence of Volker Perthes at the head of the UN mission does not help to implement the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Support Mission (Unitama)”.

The Sudanese army leader added that the UN special representative had become a “source of negative repercussions”, the Al Hadath television channel reported.

In the letter, Al Burhan stated that Perthes “gave a negative impression of the role and impartiality of the international organization” by “practicing disinformation in their reports, by stating that there was a consensus on the framework agreement.”

The army chief also stated in the letter that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, would not have risen “if they had not found signs of encouragement from the parties, including Perthes.”

In that way, Al Burhan demanded that Guterres “choose an alternative to Perthes to preserve the relationship between the United Nations and Sudan.”

At stake are the clashes that began on April 15 between the Sudanese Army and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group, which have already caused more than 1,000 deaths and thousands of refugees fleeing to neighboring countries.

Last Monday, Perthes spoke before the UN Security Council, having refused to blame the international community for the serious situation that the African country is going through, attributing responsibility exclusively to the parties in conflict.

“Some have blamed this conflict on the international community for not seeing the warning signs. Others blame the political process, or the Framework Agreement, which was intended to lead to a government run by civilians,” he said Monday.

But let’s be clear: the responsibility for the struggle rests with those who wage it daily. It is up to the leaders of both sides to share the responsibility for choosing to resolve their conflicts on the battlefield rather than at the table. It is his decision that is devastating Sudan,” stressed the German diplomat.

On the occasion, Perthes took the opportunity to welcome the new ceasefire agreement signed by the Sudanese Army and the RSF group and asked the parties to seriously engage in negotiations for a “genuine ceasefire.”

After the first week of the conflict, Perthes was transferred to the city of Port Sudan as a precaution, along with another 1,200 people -744 UN personnel and their families, as well as members of non-governmental organizations- who were transferred from Khartoum to that city. . city, where the situation is relatively calm.

Before the outbreak of the fighting on April 15, the UN representative was in charge of mediating between all the Sudanese actors involved in the country’s democratic transition.

At the beginning of March, Perthes said that the negotiations between civilians and the military to seal an agreement that would put an end to the 2021 coup d’état were “advancing a lot” and considered that, if they continue like this, “a political solution will be reached”. soon”.

Last December, the parties sealed a framework agreement to preliminarily lay the foundations for a democratic transition in the country and the withdrawal of the military from power, although the main obstacle has been the integration of the paramilitary group Forças de support and the rivalry between the two leaders, which led to the conflict in April.

Source: Observadora

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