Continued Military Hostilities between Warring Parties Endanger Thousands of People, Sudan’s Future, Region, Briefers Tell Security Council
The continuing military hostilities in Sudan that began on 15 April between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces could have dire consequences for both the country, its people and the region, briefers told the Security Council today, as the members of the 15-nation organ voiced support for the recent seven-day truce, which aims to safeguard civilians and provide humanitarian access.
“Let us be clear: the responsibility for the fighting rests with those who are waging it daily,” said Volker Perthes, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS). While the international community urged parties to de-escalate and intensified its engagement with military leaders, on 15 April — when progress was thought to have been made — the parties instead chose war.
He painted a bleak picture of thousands who made gruelling journeys in search of safety and the suffering of those who stayed in their homes with depleted supplies and no access to humanitarian assistance. Homes, shops, places of worship and water and electricity installations have been destroyed; health facilities have been used as military positions; and appalling sexual violence against women and girls has been reported. Against this backdrop, he underscored that borders must remain open to those seeking safety and border crossing procedures must be expedited.
Bankole Adeoye, African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, said that, despite the Union’s mediation efforts, the acute fragmentation among the Sudanese political and military actors and the multiplicity of external interference undermined the transition, which then led to the stalemate resulting in the coup of 25 October 2021. Outlining the Union’s comprehensive de-escalation plan for a sustainable resolution of the crisis, he said: “We must arrest Sudan’s slide into complete collapse, which would have unbearable consequences for the region, the African continent and, in fact, the world.”
On a positive note, Workneh Gebeyehu, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), cited the signing of the 20 May ceasefire and humanitarian agreement between the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces as progress that “makes us cautiously optimistic that a permanent cessation of hostilities is within reach”. The agreement will remain in effect for seven days — subject to extension if the parties agree — and aims to facilitate, inter alia, the delivery and distribution of humanitarian assistance; restoration of essential services; and the withdrawal of forces from hospitals.
In the ensuing debate, Council members called on the parties to cease hostilities and resolve differences through dialogue and negotiation. To this end, they underlined the importance of the Trilateral Mechanism — consisting of the African Union, IGAD and the United Nations — in ensuring a viable political process and building long-lasting peace.
The representative of Mozambique, also speaking for Gabon and Ghana, called on the parties to silence the guns immediately and return to the path of negotiation. Warning that the deteriorating security situation has created a conducive environment for exacerbating intercommunal clashes in Darfur, Blue Nile, South and West Kordofan States, he also expressed concern about the spill-over in neighbouring countries.
Along similar lines, the representative of Brazil, calling Sudan’s rapid descent into deadly conflict a “terrible setback”, emphasized that military means will not solve the root causes of the ongoing conflict. Welcoming the recent ceasefire and humanitarian arrangements, he stressed that negotiation is the first step to halting the current military clashes, providing adequate protection for millions of civilians and avoiding additional damage to essential civilian infrastructure.
The representative of the United Arab Emirates highlighted that more than 200,000 refugees have now crossed over into neighbouring countries, which is accelerating the humanitarian crisis for the region at a time when neighbouring countries themselves are under great strain. She also reported that, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 190 children were killed during the first 11 days of the fighting alone, with another 1,700 injured.
The representative of the United States said all must do their part to bring about peace and security as there is no time to waste, urging Sudan’s security forces to “end this senseless conflict once and for all.” Further, all parties must allow for immediate and unhindered humanitarian access for all those in need and those who have been displaced by the fighting, she said, highlighting the needs of the 1.1 million refugees who were in Sudan prior to the fighting.
However, the representative of the Russian Federation described the conflict as the result of the mismanagement of Sudan’s political settlement, with a large degree of responsibility belonging to Western countries who thought they had the right to interfere in its internal affairs. Instead of allowing the political process to be genuinely intra-Sudanese in nature, those nations imposed hasty solutions that were not accepted by population, she asserted, adding that UNITAMS unfortunately forced the civilian transition.
Rounding up the discussion, the representative of Sudan reported that the Sudanese armed forces have contained the conflict to a narrow area to prevent the enemy from achieving strategic advancements. Nonetheless, as insurgent militias seek to receive additional resources, the Sudanese armed forces must continue monitoring entry points, he said, providing examples of the systemic crimes committed by such militias “to demolish economic order and erase institutional and society memory”. Appealing to the international community for humanitarian assistance, he said that his Government has dedicated certain ports and airports to receive such aid, which will be distributed by the United Nations and national organizations.
The meeting began at 10:02 a.m. and ended at 12:18 p.m.
VOLKER PERTHES, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), reported that the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces has shown no signs of slowing down despite repeated ceasefire declarations. Further, neither side has yet shown the ability to claim a military victory. More than 860 people have been killed, including 190 children with another 3,500 injured; more than 840,000 have sought shelter in rural areas and other States; and nearly 8,000 of the displaced are pregnant women; and approximately 250,000 have crossed Sudanese borders. These figures, however, do not capture the harrowing stories of thousands who made gruelling journeys in search of safety, nor do they illustrate the suffering of many others who stayed in their homes with depleted supplies and no access to humanitarian assistance. Borders must remain open to those seeking safety and border crossing procedures must be expedited, he stressed, pledging the continued support of the United Nations to alleviate the burden on neighbouring States.
He went on to detail the parties’ continued fighting which has been without regard for the laws and norms of war. Homes, shops, places of worship and water and electricity installations have been destroyed; health facilities have been used as military positions; and appalling sexual violence against women and girls has been reported. Children continue to be vulnerable to sexual violence, abduction and recruitment as child soldiers; United Nations premises and residences — including UNITAMS’ compound — have been looted; and criminality has been compounded by the release of thousands of prisoners and the increasing spread of small arms. There have also been reports of death threats against political activists and leaders, arrests of volunteers and the intimidation of journalists.
As well, tribal militias joined the fight and civilians took up arms to defend themselves, he continued, adding that recent renewed violence led to at least another 250 deaths and tens of thousands displaced to Chad. Tribal mobilization has also been reported in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile region. Taking to task the blame being placed on the political process and the international community for not seeing the warning signs and for giving an outsized role to men with guns, he said: “Let us be clear: the responsibility for the fighting rests with those who are waging it daily.” What has been happening since 15 April is precisely what the United Nations and its partners tried to prevent. The international community urged parties to de-escalate, intensified its engagement with military leaders and coordinated such efforts with Sudanese civilian leaders who also tried to mediate. Yet, on 15 April, when progress was thought to have been made, the parties instead chose war.
Despite the relocation of its staff to Port Sudan and outside Sudan, the United Nations has not abandoned the Sudanese people, he asserted. It remains firmly committed to achieving, among other things, a stable ceasefire and preparing a fresh political process for when the time is ripe. While UNITAMS has supported the efforts of the Organization’s country team and humanitarian partners to restore the flow of humanitarian supplies, additional funding is urgently needed. The revised Humanitarian Response Plan, launched on 17 May, is requesting $2.6 billion to reach 18 million people in need, up from 15 million before the fighting began. Moreover, parties must honour the 11 May Declaration of Commitments and the recent agreement on 20 May on a short-term ceasefire and humanitarian arrangements which will allow access for humanitarian relief; protect humanitarian workers and assets; and facilitate safe passage for civilians.
Noting that he will continue to engage with leadership of both the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, he also commended the leaders of the armed movements Juba Peace Agreement signatories for their efforts in restoring peace and for their neutrality in the conflict. He urged both parties to end the fighting and return to dialogue in the interest of Sudan and its people, he emphasized. As talks advance, a diverse array of civil and political stakeholders must play their role. For its part, the world must coordinate regional and international efforts to forge a common approach which enhances collective leverage and effectiveness. Ultimately, only a credible civilian-led transition can chart a lasting peace and any coordinated plan must involve Sudan’s neighbours and the region, he underscored.
BANKOLE ADEOYE, African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, said that the Union has been mobilized from the very first days of the overthrow of former President Omer Al-Bashir to resolve the post-revolution challenges and to put in place a mediation that would lead to an inclusive broad-based transition. Unfortunately, the acute fragmentation among the Sudanese political and military actors and the multiplicity of external interference undermined the transition, which then led to the stalemate resulting in the coup of 25 October 2021. Thereafter, the African Union suspended Sudan, while continuing to work with partners for a rapid restoration of constitutional order and a consensual transition, including through the establishment of the Trilateral Mechanism.
However, the outbreak of military hostilities on 15 April between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces dashed hopes that the Framework Agreement would lead to the resumption of the political transition process and usher in the prospects of a new Sudan, he continued. Since then, the African Union has been working relentlessly to ensure an end to the conflict and the resumption of an inclusive political process. On 16 April, the Peace and Security Council condemned the fighting, called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and requested the Chairperson of the Commission to use his good offices to ensure that the guns are silenced. Shortly after, key actors in the international community were brought together to intensify efforts for an immediate ceasefire and the resumption of the political process.
He outlined the African Union’s comprehensive de-escalation plan, which identifies pillars for a sustainable resolution of the Sudanese crisis, including coordinated international action to avoid a proliferation and duplication of mediation initiatives and urgent humanitarian action, among others. The destruction of public and private institutions is systematic and the sick and wounded are dying without any care, he reported, adding: “There is no one to bury them.” Gross human rights violations are rampant and arrests, looting and sexual assaults are on the rise, he said, stressing the need to put an end to the fighting and to provide humanitarian relief.
The resumption of the political transition is premised on inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation that brings together all sectors of Sudanese society, he said. The African Union is working to support such an inclusive political process, which would allow for the full representation of Sudanese civil society and political parties. It is also critical to ensure that States bordering Sudan, which are receiving growing numbers of traumatized Sudanese refugees, are assisted at this difficult time. To this end, the Union will be deploying special envoys to all of the neighbouring capitals. “We must arrest Sudan’s slide into complete collapse, which would have unbearable consequences for the region, the African continent and, in fact, the world,” he asserted.
WORKNEH GEBEYEHU, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), welcomed the signing of a ceasefire and humanitarian agreement between the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces on 20 May as progress that “makes us cautiously optimistic that a permanent cessation of hostilities is within reach”. The agreement will remain in effect for seven days — subject to extension if the parties agree — and aims to facilitate, inter alia, the delivery and distribution of humanitarian assistance; restoration of essential services; and the withdrawal of forces from hospitals. While previous ceasefire agreements were repeatedly violated, he noted that, unlike previous agreements, the 20 May accord was signed by the parties and will be monitored by a ceasefire-monitoring mechanism supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia.
“The longer the fighting takes, the higher the toll will be”, he stressed, pointing out that shortages of food and medical services will exacerbate the humanitarian crisis. Neighbouring countries, while either emerging from conflict or facing their own serious economic or humanitarian crises, have also been impacted, hosting thousands of refugees. For example, the price of goods in South Sudan has spiked as the national currency has weakened since the conflict broke out in Sudan. Against that backdrop, IGAD has been actively working with partner organizations and States to secure a ceasefire. Reporting that its high-level delegation has been engaging the warring parties on a daily basis — in addition to consulting and coordinating with regional and international actors — he called on the international community to support and complement these efforts in a coordinated manner.
He further reported that, despite limited capacities and resources, IGAD and its member States are doing “whatever is possible within our reach” to support the people of Sudan. Ethiopia and South Sudan, for example, are receiving thousands of refugees, with the former facilitating visas for those arriving at the border and the latter giving visas free of charge. Countries such as Ethiopia and Djibouti have also played a key role in evacuating the staff of diplomatic missions and international organizations based in Sudan. He therefore called on the international community to support these frontline countries. While commending Saudi Arabia and the United States for their “relentless effort” in facilitating talks, he encouraged them to involve and engage the Trilateral Mechanism — consisting of the African Union, IGAD and the United Nations — as the entity entrusted by regional, continental and international actors to facilitate the political process in Sudan.
JAMES KARIUKI (United Kingdom), urging the parties to immediately stop fighting, also called for the protection of civilians and the granting of safe and immediate humanitarian access. Coordinated action by international and regional partners is crucial to help end this conflict, he stressed, welcoming all diplomatic efforts in this regard. However, these commitments will be worthless if they are not put into action or if they are used to secure a military advantage. Therefore, all parties must fully abide in letter and spirit. There must be strong coordination between the efforts of regional and multilateral bodies and the voices of Sudanese civilians must be heard loud and clear and included at every stage. Turning to the appalling human rights and humanitarian situation, he pointed out that visceral violence is igniting at a scale that has not been experienced in decades. Humanitarian need — having already been at record levels prior to the conflict — has risen sharply. There must be an immediate end to the continued attacks on civilian infrastructure, including homes, health-care facilities, schools and places of worship. Looting humanitarian assets is simply unacceptable and perpetrators must be held accountable, he stressed.
PEDRO COMISSÁRIO AFONSO (Mozambique), also speaking for Gabon and Ghana, said that the deterioration of the situation in Sudan has undermined all the progress achieved, particularly in the implementation of the Juba Peace Agreement. He called on the parties to silence the guns immediately and return to the path of negotiation, underlining the importance of the Trilateral Mechanism in ensuring a viable political process and building long-lasting peace. Further, he encouraged the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces to fully embrace the African Union’s de-escalation plan, stressing the need for coordination between all such initiatives. The deteriorating security situation has also created a conducive environment for exacerbating intercommunal clashes in Darfur, Blue Nile, South and West Kordofan States. In addition, it poses serious security threats to the seven neighbouring States, with reports of human rights violations, including attacks on the civilian population, particularly women, children, and vulnerable people, diplomatic personnel, United Nations and humanitarian workers.
He also decried the targeting of diplomatic premises, including widespread looting of United Nations premises, particularly in Khartoum and Darfur, stressing: “Perpetrators of such acts should be made to face justice in due course.” Expressing concern about the spill-over in neighbouring countries, he underscored that there is a need for a stronger collaboration between UNITAMS and other United Nations missions and entities operating in the region. Turning to the humanitarian situation in Sudan, he said that 700,000 people have been internally displaced, most of them coming from Khartoum, West Darfur and South Darfur, and 150,000 have left Sudan, including the refugee returnees back to their countries of origin, which are not safe. Against this backdrop, he reiterated the appeal for sustained support for the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan and commended efforts aimed at achieving a humanitarian truce and the establishment of humanitarian corridors.
JOÃO GENÉSIO DE ALMEIDA FILHO (Brazil), calling Sudan’s rapid descent into deadly conflict a “terrible setback”, underscored that another such setback would be insisting that the current conflict be solved through military means. The United Nations, the African Union, IGAD and the League of Arab States — and virtually all of Sudan’s partners — have called for ceasefires and truces precisely because military means will not solve the root causes of the ongoing conflict. Welcoming the recent ceasefire and humanitarian arrangements, he called on the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces to exercise maximum restraint and uphold the truce. Negotiation is the first step to halting the current military clashes, providing adequate protection for millions of civilians and avoiding additional damage to essential civilian infrastructure. There will be no Sudanese ownership of the political process without peaceful coexistence between leading military and paramilitary forces, he added, calling on Sudanese stakeholders to engage with ongoing initiatives in good faith.
DAI BING (China), noting his country was a “good friend and partner”, said he sincerely hoped the two parties will prioritize peace and the population’s well-being, stop hostilities and resolve differences through dialogue and negotiation. The pressing task is to ensure the implementation of commitments to ensure civilian and civilian infrastructure protection while providing security guarantees to facilitate humanitarian assistance and evacuation. For its part, the United Nations and its international partners must support and cooperate with regional organizations to provide the necessary time and space for regional mediation. Sudan’s developments demonstrate that a solution can only be found within, he pointed out, cautioning that external interference or unilateral sanctions will only intensify tensions and aggravate political and social crises. As such, relevant parties must seriously reflect on the current situation and refrain from expanding such sanctions. He also expressed his support for the Organization to communicate and coordinate with Khartoum and its neighbours to ease humanitarian pressures. Turning to UNITAM’s mandate, which will expire in early June, he urged the penholders to respect Sudan’s views and stay in close contact as this will be conducive for long-term cooperation.
HERNÁN PÉREZ LOOSE (Ecuador) highlighted that 37 days have passed since the start of armed violence in Sudan, which deteriorated the already precarious humanitarian situation of the civilian population. Thus, UNITAMS must play a critical role in seeking peace and security, which affects not only Sudan but also the whole region. The Mission’s work must be bolstered, as it remains central in strengthening gender inclusion in the political process. Turning to the humanitarian situation in Sudan, he voiced concern about the situation of mass displacement of the population, with alarming figures nearing 1 million people, while another 250,000 have fled to neighbouring countries. It is essential that the agencies of the United Nations system have the necessary resources to overcome this humanitarian crisis, he stressed, noting that women and girls are always the most affected. In this context, UNITAMS is fundamental in carrying out peacebuilding activities, protecting civilians and strengthening the rule of law, with special attention to gender-based violence. It is also crucial to strengthen the work carried out by UNITAMS in removing explosive devices and mines, as established in the Juba Agreement.
ISHIKANE KIMIHIRO (Japan) reiterated his call on both parties to immediately stop fighting and return to a peaceful political process. “We cannot accept any use of force that undermines the Sudanese-led and Sudanese-owned process towards a transition to civilian rule,” he said, commending regional and international initiatives to that end. As Tokyo is seriously concerned about the humanitarian situation in both Sudan and its neighbouring countries, his Government has decided to implement assistance to Chad, Egypt and South Sudan through international organizations in response to the influx of refugees. Also of importance is maintaining UNITAMS under such difficult circumstances. For its part, the Council must speak in a united voice and support the Mission as it seeks to revive the political process while also maintaining the other three pillars of its mandate. Going forward, Japan will actively contribute to the discussions on adapting the Mission’s strategic objectives and operations to the rapidly changing circumstances while ensuring that the Council has the optimal insights into the political dynamics affecting its work, he said. In that vein, all parties in Sudan must ensure that UNITAMS can carry out its activities unhindered.
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD (United States), calling on parties to fulfil their obligations under the recent seven-day ceasefire, stressed: “Now, more than ever, it is critical that the Council signal its full support for the Mission.” All must do their part to bring about peace and security as there is no time to waste, she added. To this end, the United States is closely cooperating with its partners, including Saudi Arabia, IGAD, the African Union and the League of Arab States, to name but a few. As all parties must allow for immediate, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for all those in need and those who have been displaced by the fighting, she highlighted her Government’s commitment to address humanitarian needs and underscored that the international community must not forget the needs of the 1.1 million refugees who were in Sudan prior to the fighting. All refugees and asylum-seekers must not only have access to protection but must also be able to eventually and voluntarily return to their countries of origin when conditions permit, she continued, urging Sudan’s security forces to “end this senseless conflict once and for all.”
LANA ZAKI NUSSEIBEH (United Arab Emirates) welcomed the short-term ceasefire and humanitarian arrangement signed over the weekend, stressing that its details must be fully implemented. Since the beginning of the fighting, the United Arab Emirates has sent nine planes to Sudan, evacuating almost 1,000 people. Her Government is supporting neighbouring countries which have taken in refugees, including dispatching 229 tons of aid to Chad to help the displaced Sudanese. However, much work still remains to be done, she emphasized, calling for the safe passage of aid workers, distribution of humanitarian supplies and unimpeded flow of goods to restore essential services. More than 200,000 refugees have now crossed over into neighbouring countries, which is accelerating the humanitarian crisis for the region at a time when neighbouring countries themselves are under great strain. Tragically, the lives of many children have been cut short by the fighting; according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 190 children were killed during the first 11 days of the fighting alone, with another 1,700 injured. Against this backdrop, she stressed the need for continuity of relief services and voiced support for the renewal of UNITAMS mandate.
DARREN CAMILLERI (Malta), welcoming recent mediation efforts — including the brokering of a seven-day ceasefire — stressed that this is the only path to sustainable peace and stability in Sudan. Women and girls remain at high risk of sexual and gender-based violence, and he urged that protection measures be strengthened for them as well as for the elderly, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups. He also condemned attacks on civilian infrastructure, humanitarian and medical workers and United Nations premises, expressing concern that an estimated $14 million worth of food products and more than 1 million polio vaccines have been destroyed by looting. The conflict in Sudan is also impacting the wider region, and the high number of refugees and displaced persons could result in further destabilization in a fragile region. Against that backdrop, he welcomed all efforts that seek to support dialogue and mediation and stressed that such efforts must include women, youth and civil society. Urging both parties to act on calls for political settlement, he also called on the authorities to fully respect UNITAMS’ mandate.
ANNA M. EVSTIGNEEVA (Russian Federation) urged the Council to understand and analyse the steps which have led to the current confrontation. From her Government’s view, the conflict is the result of the mismanagement of Sudan’s political settlement, with a large degree of responsibility belonging to Western countries who thought they had the right to interfere in its internal affairs. Instead of allowing the political process to be genuinely intra-Sudanese in nature, those nations imposed hasty solutions that were not accepted by the population. UNITAMS, for its part, unfortunately forced the civilian transition, she said, recalling Moscow’s repeated concerns over the insufficient efforts to attract international financial assistance for Khartoum’s socioeconomic stabilization. Sudan must not only have the full right to make decisions about its future but also bear that responsibility, she stressed, underlining the legacy of colonialism as the root cause of its structural problems. She called on Sudanese parties to immediately end the fighting, while emphasizing that the Libyan experience must not be repeated. “Now is not the time to complicate the parameters of [United Nations] assistance, she said regarding UNITAMS.
NATHALIE BROADHURST ESTIVAL (France) said that the situation in Sudan has continued to deteriorate since 15 April, not only in Khartoum but also in Western Darfur. She condemned the indiscriminate violence, which violates the commitments made by both parties on 11 May in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, noting that this crisis threatens to destabilize the region. She also voiced concern over a massive increase in the number of displaced people, refugees and people facing food insecurity. The determination of the parties to continue the combat means that millions of civilians will continue to be affected, either by the fighting or by the disruption of humanitarian assistance. Commending the continued action of the United Nations on the ground and the solidarity of neighbouring countries in hosting refugees, she reported that the European Union’s support has amounted to more than €150 million this year and spotlighted efforts undertaken by regional players, as well as by the United States and Saudi Arabia. She welcomed the recent ceasefire that has just been established, noting that the parties must implement the commitments made in Jeddah by opening humanitarian corridors and ceasing hostilities.
ALBANA DAUTLLARI (Albania) welcomed the recent ceasefire agreement but underscored that “words must be followed by actions”. Continued conflict will only worsen divisions, fragment society and escalate the risk of prolonged intercommunal clashes. The current situation in Sudan is regrettable, as it compromises the significant progress that had been achieved before the conflict erupted. Spotlighting the risk of regional fragmentation and expressing concern over high rates of casualties and displacement, she urged both parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and infrastructure. Further, they must ensure safe movement for civilians, along with access to essential resources such as food, water and medical supplies. She also welcomed all diplomatic efforts by the international community, regional actors, the United Nations, the African Union, IGAD and the League of Arab States, along with reiterating her country’s support for UNITAMS’ work.
PASCALE CHRISTINE BAERISWYL (Switzerland), Council President for May, speaking in her national capacity, expressed her regret that current conditions did not allow for a civil society briefer to participate. Calling for the guns to be silenced, she said that fighting in densely populated areas, the targeting of critical infrastructure, widespread looting and theft have threatened civilian safety and livelihoods as the destruction of diplomatic and humanitarian premises have severely limited the ability to provide support to Sudan’s population. Moreover, the fighting also threatens to exacerbate existing conflicts, particularly in Darfur and Blue Nile, which could lead to a further escalation. Within this context, both parties must respect international humanitarian law; facilitate full, safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need; and enable the evacuation of the wounded. Many of those who have been able to flee the violence remain acutely vulnerable and need the Council’s full support, she said, underlining the vitality of the recent ceasefire’s full implementation for alleviating suffering. A durable ceasefire, however, must be complemented by a return to negotiations in which diplomatic efforts are closely coordinated and Sudanese civilian actors remain central, she emphasized.
Ms. EVSTIGNEEVA (Russian Federation), taking the floor a second time, responded to the representative of France, rejecting the narrative that the West is never guilty of anything but only brings democracy and peace. However, noting this never ends up in stability, she said it was this way “peace and democracy were brought into Libya and Somalia and many other regions of the world”. Regarding France’s peace and economic efforts in Africa, she commented that volumes and volumes have been written about that already.
AL-HARITH IDRISS AL-HARITH MOHAMED (Sudan), spotlighting the recent short-term truce, said that the purpose of the agreement — sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the United States — is to safeguard civilians, promote adherence to international humanitarian and human-rights law, provide humanitarian access and restore basic services. Appealing to the international community and United Nations agencies for humanitarian assistance, he said that the Government has dedicated certain ports and airports to receive such aid, which will be distributed by the United Nations and national organizations. Further, based on its constitutional responsibility to protect national security, the Government has committed to the norms of war through its response to repeated calls for a truce that has led to the current agreement. He also reported that the Sudanese armed forces have contained the conflict to a narrow area to prevent the enemy from achieving strategic advancements; prevented insurgent militias from receiving cross-border assistance; and used limited-impact weapons that are carefully targeted. However, as insurgent militias seek to receive additional resources, the Sudanese armed forces — despite agreements — must continue monitoring entry points. He went on to provide examples of the systemic crimes committed by such militias “to demolish economic order and erase institutional and society memory”, calling on the international community and the Council to condemn this “unprecedented” aggression.
He also detailed Government efforts to build peace in Darfur. On regional implications, he offered a detailed description and definition regarding the classification of “refugees” and “internally displaced persons”, stressing that there are no Sudanese refugees in Egypt, Eritrea or Chad and that Sudanese citizens are not granted special legal status so long as they remain in the country’s borders. However, both these groups of people and the large number of persons who crossed borders require assistance, he said, urging they receive prioritized humanitarian support. Turning to statements regarding the negative regional impacts of the conflict in Sudan, he underscored that “no one has verified that there is an impact affecting regional security”. He nevertheless welcomed the role of IGAD and the Trilateral Mechanism, noting that the Government will participate in a summit to be held in Djibouti on 12 June. On UNITAMS, he called on the Mission to prioritize, inter alia, peacebuilding, reconstruction, capacity-building, humanitarian efforts and social reconciliation. Additionally, he said that financial assistance pledged by donors and international actors for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes has not been provided, and that the Secretary-General’s report neglected to mention that the insurgent forces started the conflict in his country.