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UN Slams Sudan 'Fatwa' Call on Official

FILE: A Sudanese protester carries a placard with a crossed out portrait of the United Nations special representative in Sudan, Volker Perthes, during a march outside the UN headquarters in the Manshiya district of Khartoum, on December 3, 2022.

KHARTOUM - The United Nations expressed concern on Tuesday about a request for a fatwa seeking the assassination of its head in Sudan, as loyalists of ousted leader Omar al-Bashir stepped up opposition to a draft deal for a new civilian government.

"The language of incitement and violence will only deepen divisions on the ground, but it will not deter the mission from carrying out its duties," the U.N. office in Sudan said in a statement in response to the death threat veiled in Islamic terms.

That came after a video on social media showing a man calling himself only Abdelmoneim is seen speaking to a gathering in Khartoum.

"I volunteer to assassinate Volker, and I request a fatwa (religious legal opinion) to make his blood permissible," the man said, referring to U.N. envoy Volker Perthes.

Government sources said an investigation had been opened.

The U.N.-backed draft civilian transition agreement could sideline ousted ruler Omar al-Bashir veterans who regained a foothold following his coup in October 2021, but a final agreement has been delayed by internal disputes over plans for restructuring the military.

al- Bashir loyalists, who have a presence in the military, oppose the U.N. mission and its leadership.

"We've intensified our public action recently to protect national sovereignty from foreign interference," an NCP leader told Reuters, asking not to be named.