The tensions between the government of Sudan and the UN envoy Volker Perthes do not show signs of diminishing, after the president of the Sovereign Transitional Council, General Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, threatened his expulsion from the country last April 1.

According to General Al-Burhan, in fact, the head of the United Nations Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) would have “exceeded the mandate of his mission,” openly interfering in the internal affairs of Sudanese politics.

The threat of expulsion of the diplomat was made by the president of the Sovereign Council of Transition during a meeting with cadets of the military college Wadi Sayidna in Omdurman, in which General Al-Burhan strongly criticized the words of Volker Perthes last week about the worsening of the Sudanese crisis. The president also reiterated how the African Union should work to promote national dialogue by preventing the United Nations from taking positions outside its mandate.

The political impasse in Sudan continues to be characterized by organized protests by the opposition to the military government, which are calling for the transfer of powers to a transitional government and civilian leadership and the absorption of militias into the armed forces, including in particular the Rapid Support Forces led by General Dagalo.

On April 2 the president of the Sovereign Council of Transition, General Al-Burhan, returned to the subject, stating that the military will transfer power only to a regularly elected civilian government, “continuing to serve the interests of the country”.

Sudan’s serious political crisis is further exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine and Sudan’s ambiguous relationship with Russia. While General Dagalo is an outspoken supporter of the relationship with Moscow, in fact, General Al-Burhan understands the risks and has always tried to pursue an approach marked by pragmatism, above all with a view to not altering the relationship with the United States and, consequently, fuelling the risk of a definitive freeze of the funds promised to the country by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The relations between General Al-Burhan and General Dagalo are considered by observers as more and more critical, and characterized by the clear impossibility for the former to exercise his authority on the latter, with the result of not having the necessary tools to promote the integration of the militias of the Rapid Support Forces within the Sudanese armed forces.

This uncertain relationship of forces allowed General Dagalo to start his own individual initiative against Russia, which, although opposed in principle by General Al-Burhan, could not be opposed in practice because of its economic and food potential (wheat from Russia represented 80% of local needs).

No less pressing are the security problems in the Darfur region, where on April 1 General Mohammad Hamdan Dagalo authorized the use of force to counter tribal violence which over the last week has caused around 45 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

Finally, according to Israeli press reports, a military delegation from Tel Aviv secretly visited Sudan during the last week of March, although no details have been provided regarding the nature of the meetings and the people involved.


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