Sudan: UN Appoints German Professor to Head Sudan Mission

Volker Perthes’s international career ranges from an stint at Beirut’s American University to decades in international relations. He brings to the UN deep expertise in conflict resolution and regional geopolitics

The United Nations on Friday announced the appointment of German professor Volker Perthes as the new Special Representative to Sudan.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Perthes will also serve as head of the world body’s Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS).

“Volker Perthes brings to this position over 25 years of experience in academia, research, international relations and diplomacy, including with the United Nations, as well as deep expertise in conflict resolution and regional geopolitics,” Guterres said a the statement.

Who is Volker Perthes?

The 62-year-old German professor and political scientist, who speaks fluent English and Arabic, was nominated by Guterres only four months after beginning his post as the senior advisor of Berlin’s German Institute for International and Security Affairs in September.

Perthes previously worked for the UN’s special envoy to Syria from 2015-2016 before taking several teaching positions in Germany and Libya.

What is the role in Sudan?

The UN representative to Sudan position had been vacant since the June 2020 creation of UNITAMS.

The aim of the mission is to support authorities through the political transition that started with the ouster of former president Omar al-Bashir in April 2019.


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