UN chief on the situation in Sudan: the time has come to lay down arms

Глава ООН о ситуации в Судане: настало время сложить оружие

Head of the UN in the Security Council. UN chief on the situation in Sudan: the time has come to lay down arms Peace and Security

The conflict in Sudan has threatened the country’s unity and could trigger regional instability of dramatic proportions from the Sahel to the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced this on Thursday at the UN Security Council.

He recalled that next month will mark one year since the start of brutal fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Reaction Force.

“Meanwhile, the fighting continues. We are witnessing renewed offensives in the states of Khartoum, Al-Ghazira and elsewhere. The bloodshed recently forced us to suspend operations at the critical humanitarian center of Wad Madani. There are growing fears that fighting could expand further east,” the UN chief said.

Guterres expressed concern about calls for arming civilians and popular mobilization in some states. Various armed groups are joining the fighting in Darfur and Southern Kordofan. He stressed that such a development is fraught with even more serious fragmentation of the country, deepening intra- and inter-community tensions and an increase in ethnic violence.

The secretary-general called for a cessation of hostilities during the Muslim holy month, which should pave the way for a final end to the conflict and sustainable peace. “The time has come to lay down our arms,” said Guterres.

Humanitarian crisis and human rights

The head of the UN told members of the Security Council that the humanitarian crisis in Sudan is reaching colossal proportions. Half the population – about 25 million people – needs help. Indiscriminate attacks on both sides have killed civilians. In total, more than 14,000 people died during the fighting.

Guterres also said that from Sudan there are reports of arbitrary arrests, kidnappings, torture, the recruitment of child soldiers, as well as systematic sexual violence related to the conflict, including gang violence rape.

6.3 million Sudanese are internally displaced, and another 1.7 million have fled to neighboring countries. About 18 million people are severely food insecure. The conflict has also destroyed civilian infrastructure.

“More than 70 percent of health facilities in conflict-affected areas are not functioning. Millions of children are out of school. The water supply and sewerage systems are destroyed,” the Secretary General said.

“The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are doing everything they can to end suffering. But in trying to help millions of people in need, we face serious challenges,” the UN chief added.

Guterres welcomed recent decisions by Sudanese authorities to ease cross-border access in eastern Sudan and use three airports for humanitarian flights, as well as border crossings in areas controlled by Sudanese authorities, including on the border with Chad. He called on the authorities to allow humanitarian organizations access to all vulnerable populations, regardless of where they are and who controls the territory.

“I also call on the international community to provide financial support for the Plan humanitarian response for Sudan by 2024,” the UN chief said, noting the lack of funding.

UN efforts to resolve the conflict

According to the Secretary-General, the UN is ready to intensify interaction with its partners, including the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the League of Arab States and key UN member countries, to take urgent measures aimed at stopping hostilities and supporting international mediation, the Secretary General emphasized. He stated the need to involve in these efforts the states of the region that have leverage over the warring parties.

The UN head also recalled the activities of his special representative for Sudan, Ramtan Lamamra, who met with the leaders of the warring parties and visited many countries in the region. He called on the Security Council to support these efforts.

Read also:

UN completes withdrawal of peacekeeping mission from Sudan


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