Sudan demands immediate end to UN mission
The United Nations has been asked to immediately terminate its Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan, where an armed conflict has been raging since mid-April between the national army and rival paramilitary forces.
The Sudanese military government made the demand in a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and circulated to the Security Council.
“The government of Sudan requested that the United Nations immediately terminate the UNITAMS mission. At the same time, we would like to assure you that the government of Sudan is committed to engaging constructively with the Security Council and the Secretariat,” Sudan’s acting Foreign Minister Ali Sadeq wrote in a letter quoted by the outlet.
The latest decision comes after the UN special envoy to Sudan and head of UNITAMS, Volker Perthes, announced in September that he was stepping down from the role, more than three months after the North African country’s rulers expelled him.
Perthes was accused of “being partisan” in mediating political issues in the country and exacerbating tensions between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary.
Violence broke out in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum on April 15 between the SAF and RSF following weeks of rising tensions over a plan to integrate forces as part of a transition from military rule to civilian democracy. Both forces teamed up to stage a military coup in 2019 that deposed President Omar al-Bashir, who had been in power for three decades.
The UNITAM political mission was established in 2020 to support Sudan during its transition to civilian rule for a 12-month period, but it was extended further after another coup in 2021. In June, the UN Security Council renewed the mandate of the mission for another six months until December 3, amid the brutal fighting across the country, which had killed up to 9,000 people as of September.
UNITAM published a situational report on Sudan on Thursday, detailing 345 alleged incidents of human rights violations and abuses, as well as violations of international humanitarian law, affecting 2,672 victims, including children, committed by both the SAF and RSF between August 21 and October 31.
“UNITAMS continued to exercise its good offices functions in support of efforts to end the conflict and prepare for an eventual return to a political transition,” the UN secretary-general stated.
However, according to Reuters, Sudan’s rulers want the mission to be terminated right away due to its “disappointing” performance.