Cairo: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was surprised when he received a letter from Sudan’s military leader General Abdel-Fateh Burhan. In this letter, Abdel-Fateh Burhan requested the withdrawal of the UN envoy. The letter came as chaos escalated in Sudan as tensions between military rivals boiled over into open battle last month.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was surprised by the letter. The Secretary-General is proud of the work of (UN Special Envoy) Volker Perthes and has full confidence in him as Special Representative. Dugeric gave no information about the contents of the letter. However, a senior army officer said Burhan asked Guterres to remove Perthes in the letter. Perthes was named here in 2021.
Burhan accuses Perthes of bias
The official said on condition of anonymity that Burhan had accused Perthes of taking a biased attitude. He said the manner of his pre-war talks between the general and the pro-democracy movement fueled the conflict. While the aim of the talks was to restore the derailed democracy after the October 2021 military coup. At the same time, Perthes declined to make a statement on the issue of the letter.
Last year, Burhan also accused Perthes of breaking the UN mandate and interfering in Sudanese affairs. He also threatened to expel Perthes from the country.
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what’s going on in sudan
Since mid-April, tensions have persisted between the powerful Rapid Support Force, commanded by General Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo, and the army. Both Burhan and Dagalo led a coup in 2021 that overthrew Abdalla Hamdok, prime minister of a Western-backed government. Since then, there has been a standoff between the two generals. In fact, Burhan and Dagalo are two centers of power in this country.
Currently, command of the Sudanese army is in the hands of General Abdel Fateh al-Burhan, while Hamdan Dagalo heads the Rapid Support Force (RSF). These two generals have their own armies and weapons and Sudan has become a battleground due to the clash between these two armies. The reason for the clash of the two is to stick to their own stubbornness. In particular, the question of merging the army and the rapid support force is blocked.
In fact, if the Rapid Support Force with a lakh of soldiers is merged into the army, then who will lead the new army. The two are unable to agree on this point. Not only that, Fateh al-Burhan wants his army to transfer power only to an elected government – but there too no agreement has been reached with Hamdan Dagalo.
The capital Khartoum has become the center of the war
The country’s capital, Khartoum, remains the epicenter of the fighting, along with the city of Omdurman. Apart from that, its effect is spreading all over the country including the war-torn Darfur region. Hundreds of people have lost their lives and thousands of people have been injured in this fight and the country is on the verge of collapse. Due to this, around 13 lakh people in the country have become homeless and they are being forced to leave their homes and seek refuge elsewhere in Sudan or neighboring countries. Or
Additionally, rape and sexual violence against women and girls have also been reported during this ongoing conflict in Sudan. According to a government-led group, around 24 cases involving women have been reported in Khartoum and 25 in Darfur. The group claims that RSF is blamed for such incidents with women. However, RSF has made no statement on this.
America and Saudi Arabia mediate
After mediation by the United States and Saudi Arabia, the two sides agreed to a week-long ceasefire, which will end Monday evening. However, despite the ceasefire, fighting has not stopped in Khartoum and other parts of the country. Burhan wrote the letter after the UN envoy accused both sides of flouting the laws of war by attacking homes, shops, places of worship and water and electricity facilities. In a briefing to the UN Security Council earlier this week, Perthes accused the army and the RSF of choosing the path of war instead of resolving the issue through dialogue.
Tags: Antonio Guterres, Conflict in Sudan, The United Nations
FIRST POST: May 28, 2023, 1:15 p.m. HST