Sudanese authorities have declared the UN envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, as “persona non grata.” Stating that he is no longer welcome in the country. This development follows a demand by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, the head of Sudan’s military, in a letter to Perthes, calling for his removal from his post.
Perthes has played a crucial role as a mediator in the violent conflict in Sudan since his appointment as special UN envoy in 2021. The power struggle between Sudan’s military, led by Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), led by Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo. This has resulted in a significant number of civilian casualties, with over 860 deaths reported by Sudan’s Doctors’ Syndicate. Though the actual figure is likely higher.
The German diplomat has faced death threats and calls for resignation in recent months. In Burhan’s letter, he accused Perthes of bias and contributing negatively to pre-war talks between the military and pro-democracy groups.
The conflict has turned Khartoum into an urban battlefield, leading to severe humanitarian consequences such as the lack of basic services. Including water and electricity, in many districts of the city. Reports of looting and sexual violence, including rape, have emerged from Khartoum and the western Darfur region. Which have witnessed some of the most intense fighting. The RSF has been implicated in most of the reported cases of sexual attacks.
In a separate incident, 297 children were rescued from an orphanage in Khartoum on Wednesday after being trapped there during the ongoing conflict. The evacuation took place after 71 children lost their lives due to hunger and illness since mid-April, according to UNICEF.
Neither the UN nor Perthes has commented on Sudan’s decision to declare him persona non grata.