Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received the letter on Friday from Lieutenant-General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of Sudan’s ruling Sovereignty Council, according to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric..
“The Secretary-General was shocked by the message he received this (Friday) morning,” Dujarric said. He added: “The Secretary-General is proud of the work done by Volker Peretz and reaffirms his full confidence in his Special Representative“.
This development comes amid fighting between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces that began in mid-April. The two sides agreed to abide by the one-week ceasefire brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia. But the truce, which was due to expire on Monday, did not stop fighting in parts of Khartoum and elsewhere in the country.
Dujarric did not disclose the contents of the letter. However, a senior military official said Burhan’s message asked Guterres to replace his envoy to the northeastern African country, who was appointed in 2021..
According to the official, Al-Burhan accused Peretz of being “biased,” noting that his approach to pre-war talks between the generals and the pro-democracy movement helped fuel the conflict..
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media.
Peretz, who was appointed in 2021 as the UN envoy to Sudan, declined to comment on the letter.
Last year, Al-Burhan accused Peretz of “exceeding the mandate of the United Nations mission and blatant interference in Sudanese affairs,” and threatened to expel him from the country..
Al-Burhan’s message came after the UN envoy accused the two warring parties of not respecting the laws of war by attacking homes, shops, places of worship, and water and electricity facilities..
In his briefing to the United Nations Security Council earlier this week, Peretz blamed the army and RSF commanders for the war, saying they had chosen to “settle their unresolved conflict on the battlefield instead of sitting at the table.”“.
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