United Nations backs Sudan envoy as army seeks to expel him

United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, says he was “shocked” by a letter from Sudanese army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan reportedly requesting the replacement of special envoy Volker Perthes.

Perthes and the UN mission in Sudan have been the target of several protests by thousands of military and other supporters who repeatedly accused him of “foreign intervention” and demanded his dismissal.

Sources within Sudan’s foreign ministry told Al Jazeera that Perthes will not be allowed back into the war-torn country.

Perthes is currently in New York City where he briefed the UN Security Council on the situation in Sudan earlier this week. No information is available on when he was due back in Sudan, where authorities have not given out visas to foreign nationals since the war started.

Al-Burhan accused Perthes of widening divisions in the country by excluding voices who should have been involved in the transition to a civilian government.

Al-Burhan’s army is currently at war with his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Daglo who commands the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

The rival factions are currently in the fifth day of a one-week ceasefire brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia, during which they have repeatedly accused each other of truce violations.

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