File Photo: Volker Perthes, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sudan and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) during an interview with UN News. Photo courtesy of UNITAMS.
The Sudanese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the government of Sudan has officially notified UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that Perthes, his special representative and head of the UN Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission in Sudan, "has been declared persona non grata as of today."
"I think what I can tell you is that the secretary-general recalls that the doctrine of persona non grata is not applicable to or in respect of United Nations personnel," Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Guterres, told reporters.
"Its invocation is contrary to the obligations of states under the Charter of the United Nations, including those concerning the privileges and immunities of the United Nations and its personnel," he added.
On May 26, Guterres received a letter from Sudanese army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, in which the UN chief was reportedly asked to replace Perthes.
Guterres has voiced full confidence in his special representative for Sudan.
"The secretary-general's position (on Perthes) remains the same," said Dujarric.