June 12, 2023 (KHARTOUM) – The Friends of Sudan group has voiced its unwavering support for Volker Perthes, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy and head of UNITAMS, while strongly denouncing the decision by the Sudanese government to declare him persona non grata.
The military-led government in Sudan made this declaration on June 8, shortly after the renewal of UNITAMS’ mandate for six months, disregarding its demand to replace him.
In a statement released on Monday, Dennis Kumetat, the Spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry for the Middle East and North Africa, representing his country and the Friends of Sudan, unequivocally condemned the Sudanese government’s action against the German diplomat.
“Since the outbreak of hostilities, the UN Special Envoy has been working tirelessly and energetically to campaign for ceasefires, protection of civilians, and humanitarian access to assist the affected local populations. We have full confidence in his ability to continue this crucial work,” Kumetat further stressed.
Perthes will continue to work on Sudan from Nairobi, where he has opened an office.
The statement follows a letter sent on June 9 by Sudan to the African Union, Ethiopia, and various UN specialized agencies, requesting that they refrain from engaging with Perthes. It should be noted that Sudan’s membership in the regional body has been suspended since the coup on October 25, 2021.
Additionally, France and the United States issued separate statements, offering their support to Perthes and condemning the decision of the military-led government in Khartoum.
The US State Department stated on May 27, “SRSG Perthes continues to have our confidence in implementing the UNITAMS mandate and in supporting the Sudanese people to achieve a peaceful and democratic future.”
Similarly, the French foreign ministry stated on June 9, “We commend the continued commitment and tireless work of Mr Volker Perthes and all UNITAMS teams to consolidate peace and support Sudan’s democratic transition, and more recently, to secure a ceasefire and humanitarian corridors.”
The Friends of Sudan group, established by the United States to support Sudan’s democratic transition, includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the European Union.
Read this article on the website of the Sudan Tribune