Sudanese general El Burhan threatens to expel UNITAMS leader for “interference”
The head of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, General Abdelfattah El Burhan, has threatened to expel the head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes, accusing him of having “exceeded the mandate of the UN mission” and to interfere in Sudanese affairs.
In a statement to a graduating class at the Wadi Sayidna Military College in Omdurman on Friday, El Burhan warned the UNITAMS leader to stop his blatant interference as it could result in his “expulsion from the country”. He also added that the African Union (AU) should strive to “facilitate a dialogue with Sudanese actors” and exercise caution to “exceed its mandate”.
This criticism follows the briefing by the head of UNITAMS to the UN Security Council (UNSC) on the deterioration of the economic, humanitarian and security situation in Sudan. Perthes pleaded with the UNSC saying, “Time is not on Sudan’s side, and I speak to you today with a sense of urgency that is also increasingly felt by security-conscious Sudanese stakeholders. stability and the very existence of their country.
Perthes was also criticized by Sudan’s acting foreign minister, Ali Sadiq, who suggested that “UNITAMS should focus on the other fundamental aspects of its mandate, such as supporting the Juba peace agreement “, and the protocols attached to it.
In an interview with Radio Dabanga, Saleh Mahmoud, a prominent human rights defender, called the foreign minister’s statement hypocritical. Mahmoud said the ministry “has no right to claim that the mission is not mandated to speak about widespread and systematic violations” when it is the Sudanese authorities themselves who are responsible for these violations.
Perthes presented a plan in collaboration with the UN, AU and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), to support Sudan in the next phase of the political process. Member countries of Friends of Sudan reiterated their strong support for the combined efforts of UNITAMS, AU and IGAD to facilitate a Sudanese-led political process with the aim of restoring a civilian transition to democracy.