UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed on Friday a personal envoy for Sudan following Khartoum’s demand to shut down the UN political mission in the war-torn country, a UN spokesman said.
The United Nations will continue to cooperate with Sudan authorities, said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman of the UN chief, after acknowledging receipt of a letter from Khartoum officials announcing the government’s decision to terminate UNITAMS (UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan).
Dujarric then said the secretary-general named Ramtane Lamamra of Algeria as his envoy for Sudan, an “appointment that has been in the works for some time now.”
“We will continue to engage closely with all actors, including the Sudanese authorities and members of the Security Council, to clarify next steps,” the spokesman said. “As you know, of course, it is the Security Council that gives the Secretariat the mandate to operate peacebuilding, political missions and peacekeeping missions.”
The letter calling for an end to the political mission said they are “terminating UNITAMS with immediate effect,” Dujarric said. “They also communicated their commitment to engage constructively with the Security Council and with the UN Secretariat on a new, appropriate and agreed-upon formula.”
The spokesman pointed out the political mission, UNITAMS, was established by the Security Council in resolution 2524 in June 2020, with its current mandate ending on Dec. 3.
He said Assistant Secretary-General Martha Pobee told the Security Council on Thursday that Guterres had appointed Ian Martin to lead a strategic review of the UN mission in Sudan to provide the council with options to adapt the political mission’s mandate.
UNITAMS was tasked with aiding the military government in Khartoum’s transition to civilian rule following the ousting of former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2019.
There were published reports the Sudanese government was disappointed with UNITAMS’ progress.