Sudan arrests Islamist for threat to kill UNITAMS head

UNITAMS head Volker Perthes (File photo: RD)


A man was arrested earlier this week, after calling for a fatwa (religious edict) authorising the assassination of United Nations Special Representative and UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) head Volker Perthes, and volunteering to commit the killing, according to recent reports.

The controversial remarks were made during a political meeting of the People of Sudan Call for National Accord in Khartoum, a coalition that includes some Islamist groups, where UNITAMS and Perthes were criticised as ‘interfering in internal Sudanese affairs’.

A video that was captured on social media and has since gone viral, shows a man identified as Abdelmonim Dafallah, saying: “I volunteer to assassinate Volker, and I request a fatwa to make his blood permissible”.

In the wake of Dafallah’s remarks, various Sudanese stakeholders and political groups called for greater guarantees for the safety and security of UN officials, to prevent further escalation of tensions in the region.

In a statement on Tuesday, UNITAMS spokesperson May Yacoub voiced serious concern over the Islamist’s remarks.

“Using language that incites violence will exacerbate divisions within the country. However, UNITAMS will not be deterred from carrying out its duties,” she said.

This incident has brought to light the ongoing political crisis in Sudan, with military factions impeding negotiations to create a civilian-led government.

“Although we appreciate those who have condemned the video and its contents, we urge the Sudanese authorities to take legal action and conduct a proper investigation,” the spokesperson added.