In a significant development in Sudan’s ongoing conflict, Sudanese authorities have declared the United Nations (UN) envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, as “persona non grata.” This comes as the warring factions have agreed to a new 24-hour cease-fire, adding to the series of fragile truces implemented in the past.
1. Sudanese Authorities Declare UN Envoy “Persona Non Grata”
Sudan’s Foreign Ministry issued a terse statement late Thursday, announcing that Volker Perthes, the UN envoy to Sudan, is no longer welcome in the country. This decision follows a letter from Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, the head of Sudan’s military, demanding Perthes’ removal from his post. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has been officially notified about Perthes’ status.
2. Fragile Cease-fire amid Ongoing Violence
Since April 15, Sudan’s military, led by Gen. Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), commanded by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, have been locked in a violent power struggle. The conflict has claimed the lives of more than 860 civilians, with the actual death toll likely to be higher. In an attempt to curb the bloodshed, a new 24-hour cease-fire has been agreed upon by the warring sides, marking the eighth attempt at a truce. However, previous cease-fire agreements have failed to hold.
3. Stalled Peace Talks and International Involvement
Formal peace talks between the conflicting parties, facilitated by Saudi Arabia and the United States, were suspended due to repeated cease-fire violations. Both nations remain engaged with representatives from the military and the RSF, with the hope of reviving the peace talks. Meanwhile, the United States has imposed sanctions on key defense companies associated with the military and the RSF, as well as visa restrictions.
4. Perthes’ Role as Mediator and International Support
Volker Perthes has played a crucial role as a mediator in Sudan since his appointment as the UN envoy in 2021. He has been instrumental in the country’s failed attempts to transition to democracy and in addressing the deteriorating relations between the military and the RSF. Despite Sudanese authorities declaring him unwelcome, the international community, including Germany, continues to support Perthes and his efforts.
5. Humanitarian Concerns and Impending Crisis
The conflict between the two generals has left Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, in turmoil, with widespread reports of looting and sexual violence. The RSF has been blamed for numerous cases of sexual attacks. The conflict has also displaced nearly 2 million people, both internally and across borders. Humanitarian organizations, such as UNICEF and Mercy Corps, are warning of an impending food crisis and disease outbreaks, especially with the onset of Sudan’s rainy season.
Despite the challenges and tensions, international efforts persist to bring peace and stability to Sudan. The situation remains fluid, and the hope for lasting peace rests on the ability of all parties involved to come to a genuine and sustainable agreement.
Follow us for more updates on Sudan’s conflict and efforts to achieve peace. Thank you for reading!