9659th Meeting (AM)
SC/15735

Briefing Security Council, Senior Humanitarian Official Warns ‘Famine Is Imminent’ in Sudan, Calling for End to Horrific Conflict

With famine impending, human rights violations on the rise and fighting escalating between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, the international community must work towards an immediate ceasefire in Sudan, senior United Nations officials and a women’s rights activist told the Security Council today.

“I regret to inform you that Sudan continues to spiral into chaos,” Edem Wosornu, Director of Operations and Advocacy, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said as she underscored the humanitarian emergency in Sudan.  After, 14 months of conflict, the lives of 800,000 people hang in the balance and 130,000 people have been displaced since 1 April.  While El Fasher is the epicentre, it is also “just the tip of the iceberg”, she said, adding that indiscriminate bombing continues to blight the daily lives of millions of people in Darfur, Kordofan, Khartoum and Aj Jazirah States.

“Famine is imminent,” she cautioned, and over 2 million people in 41 hunger hotspots are at high risk of slipping into catastrophic hunger soon.  The next few weeks are an important opportunity to deliver life-saving supplies before the rainy season starts and road conditions significantly worsen.  She also drew attention to the grave violations of human rights in the country.  With conflict-related sexual violence rampant, suicide rates among survivors are rising.  While highlighting “three key asks” — protect civilians and infrastructure; ensure humanitarian access; and provide increased funding for the aid operation — she underscored that “the ultimate ask” is for this horrific conflict to stop.

“Civilians are in the line of fire; nowhere is safe for them,” said Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations.  Despite efforts by the United Nations and regional organizations, “we have not succeeded” in preventing the escalation of violence in Sudan, notably in El Fasher, she said.  Welcoming the adoption of Council resolution 2736 (2024) last week, she highlighted the urgent need for a ceasefire.

Also pointing to the flow of sophisticated weapons, she said external players should use their leverage to bring about an end to the fighting.  Mediation efforts have not secured a ceasefire, even though during his visit, the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Ramtane Lamamra, “registered the commitment” of both the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, to the Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to Protect Civilians.  Welcoming all regional mediation efforts, including the African Union’s decision to begin preparing to convene a civilian political dialogue, she said it is critical that the voices of women and youth are heard.

The Council also heard from Limiaa Ahmed, Senior Programme Director at the Sudan Family Planning Association, who highlighted the situation of women and girls in the war, as well as their contributions to humanitarian efforts.  Noting that she fled the country in 2023, she described the conflict as a war on women.  “Sudanese women have paid the price of this war with their lives and with their bodies,” she observed.  They face the risk of sexual violence and exploitation in displacement, in transit, in temporary shelters and at border crossings.  In areas controlled by the Rapid Support Forces, they have been abducted and held in “inhumane and degrading slave-like conditions”, she said.

Her organization, she added, has delivered over 33 million sexual and reproductive health services through its 15 branches across Sudan over the last 12 months.  Its clinics have been burned and looted; yet it has worked under these difficult conditions to deliver health services, and socioeconomic and psychosocial support.  Noting that women-led organizations have “spared no effort” to assist those affected by gender-based violence, she stressed that without them, there can be no peace in the country.  “Millions of Sudanese women and girls are looking to this Council to act now,” she said.

In the ensuing discussion, many Council members urged warring parties to resume dialogue and stressed the importance of protecting civilians.  Several speakers called for an end to external interference, and noted the vacuum left in the wake of the termination of United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in the Sudan (UNITAMS).  That Mission, in accordance with Council resolution 2715 (2023), concluded its operations in February.  The discussion also saw a heated exchange between the representatives of Sudan and the United Arab Emirates.

The Council’s failure to address the situation, Sudan’s delegate said, is empowering “a unique terrorist model”.  He condemned the United Arab Emirates’ support for the militias, and drew attention to the six United Arab Emirates passports that were found a week ago in Khartoum in joint operations perpetrated by the Rapid Response Forces.  “We found them in the heart of the battlefield,” he said, demanding that the United Arab Emirates stay away from his country.

The military aggression launched by the Rapid Support Force militias is pushing millions of people to live on humanitarian aid and turning his country into “a destructive settlement”, he said.  Khartoum stands ready to immediately implement a ceasefire in El Fasher if the Rapid Support Force ends the siege and withdraws.  Also rejecting the claim that his country is on the brink of famine, he said that “the grain production in Sudan is far from famine”.  Further, his Government is taking measures to protect civilians and ensure that its armed forces are not engaged in any sexual or gender-based violence.

Responding, the representative of the United Arab Emirates rejected this statement as “ludicrous” and said his country has already responded to these allegations.  He also highlighted the United Arab Emirates’ aid contribution to Sudan and dismissed the “excuses and finger-pointing” from the Sudanese Armed Forces.  Instead of grandstanding in international fora, they should take the responsibility for ending the conflict they began, he added.  “What are you waiting for?”, he asked, questioning why the Sudanese Armed Forces did not come to the Jeddah talks if they seek an end to the conflict.  The Sudanese people deserve a credible political process and unhindered flow of humanitarian aid, he said.

Unfortunately, civilians are bearing the brunt of this conflict, particularly women, children and the elderly, noted the representative of Guyana, also speaking for Algeria, Mozambique and Sierra Leone.  “Those external parties fuelling the conflict, whether through the supply of arms and ammunition, recruitment, financing or any other means” must stop immediately, she said, also expressing concern that the Humanitarian Response Plan remains only 16.3 per cent funded.  In the absence of a UN mission on the ground, there is an urgent need for continued monitoring and reporting on human rights violations and on protection matters, she added.

The representative of the United States recalled that the termination of UNITAMS followed Sudanese authorities’ decision that the Mission no longer served the people’s needs. Since that vote in December 2023, the catastrophe has only worsened, she said, citing reports that “some Sudanese have been forced to eat tree leaves to try to survive”.  The Sudanese warring parties are not concerned about the Sudanese people, she said, calling on the Council to take further action to achieve peace for Sudan’s people.

Along similar lines, the representative of the Republic of Korea, Council President for June, speaking in his national capacity, stressed that “the UN’s role is more essential in Sudan than anywhere else.”  He urged the Council to discuss the necessity of peace operations in Sudan in the wake of UNITAMS’ termination.

However, the representative of the Russian Federation said the United Nations’ reputation needs restoring after “the unsuccessful activities” of UNITAMS’ leadership.  “It is unacceptable for the difficult humanitarian situation to be used as a pretext for intervention in the domestic affairs of Sudan,” she added.  Security Council sanctions have not helped normalize the Darfur region’s situation, she said, stressing that the sovereign Council of the Republic of Sudan is that country’s highest legitimate governing body and cautioning against the imposition of “dubious socioeconomic schemes and universal, so-called ‘democratizing’ templates” on Khartoum.

REPORTS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON SUDAN AND SOUTH SUDAN

Briefings

MARTHA AMA AKYAA POBEE, Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, said that, despite efforts by the United Nations and regional organizations, “we have not succeeded in preventing the escalation of violence in [Sudan], notably in El Fasher”.  Expressing concern about atrocities along ethnic lines, severe shelling and aerial bombardment in densely populated areas, she said that from 16 April to 9 June, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) documented 192 civilian deaths.  “Civilians are in the line of fire; nowhere is safe for them,” she said, condemning the attacks on the South Hospital in El Fasher carried out by Rapid Support Forces on 8 June.  Stressing the need for a ceasefire to alleviate human suffering and pave the way for a broader cessation of hostilities, she said the adoption of Council resolution 2736 (2024) last week is an important signal.

Noting that it underlines the well-established responsibility of warring parties to abide by international humanitarian law, she said the parties must heed this call without delay. The fighting between warring parties continues to rage and is escalating, including in Greater Khartoum, the Kordofan regions and Gezira State.  Highlighting a horrific attack in the village of Wad al-Noora, allegedly by the Rapid Support Forces, she said the risk of a conflict spillover remains high. Also pointing to the flow of sophisticated weapons, she said external players should use their leverage. Turning to the appalling human rights situation, she noted several violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws.  This includes summary executions of civilians, the arrest and detention incommunicado of hundreds of individuals as well as widespread conflict-related sexual violence, she said, stressing the urgent need for meaningful accountability.

Mediation efforts have not secured a ceasefire, she said, expressing regret that there is no indication that the important discussions held in the context of the Jeddah platform will resume soon.  “We cannot afford to be passive bystanders,” she underscored.  Recalling the visit to the region by the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Ramtane Lamamra, she said that, despite fundamental differences between the parties, he “registered the commitment of both the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, to the Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to Protect Civilians, signed on 11 May 2023”.  Outlining the Personal Envoy’s mediation endeavours alongside regional partners, she welcomed the Cairo communiqué of 12 June and noted Djibouti’s offer to host a retreat for international mediators and the African Union’s decision to launch a preparatory process for convening a civilian political dialogue.  It is critical that the voices of women and youth are heard, she said, calling on warring parties to make “decisions of historic nature and scope”.

EDEM WOSORNU, Director of Operations and Advocacy, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, underscored the humanitarian emergency in Sudan, noting that this is the sixth time her Office has briefed the Council on the situation in less than four months and the twelfth time since the conflict broke out in April 2023.  “Today, I regret to inform you that Sudan continues to spiral into chaos,” she said.  Fourteen months of conflict have created a nightmare for civilians in Sudan, with El Fasher at the epicentre.  The lives of 800,000 people hang in the balance.  Bombing and shelling continue in densely populated areas, causing widespread and long-term harm to civilians and severely disrupting the essential services they depend on.  At least 130,000 people have been displaced since 1 April, mainly south to other parts of Darfur and west into Chad where resources and basic services are already extremely stretched and, in some cases, non-existent.

“Sadly, the violence in El Fasher is just the tip of the iceberg,” she warned, noting that the 5 June attack by the Rapid Support Forces in Wad Al-Noura village in Aj Jazirah State killed more than 100 people, including dozens of children, she reported, adding that indiscriminate bombing continues to blight the daily lives of millions of people in Darfur, Kordofan, Khartoum and Aj Jazirah States.  Conflict-related sexual violence remains rampant.  According to reports from local women-led organizations, suicide rates among survivors are rising and access to gender-based violence services is shrinking.  The Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict found that grave violations against children in Sudan have increased by a staggering 480 per cent — from around 300 violations in 2022 to over 1,700 in 2023.  Six aid workers — all of them Sudanese nationals — have been killed over the last six weeks, bringing the total number of humanitarian personnel killed to 24 since the war started.

“Famine is imminent,” she cautioned, citing almost 5 million people facing emergency levels of food insecurity.  Nine in 10 of these people are in conflict-affected areas in Darfur, Kordofan, Aj Jazirah and Khartoum States.  Over 2 million people in 41 hunger hotspots are at high risk of slipping into catastrophic hunger in the coming weeks. About 7,000 new mothers could die in the next few months if they don’t get access to food and health care. Across Sudan, women are dying because of complications during pregnancy or childbirth.  If farmers do not immediately receive the certified seeds they need for the planting season, the food security situation will worsen even further.  “The countdown is real,” she said, adding:  “We have just a few weeks to deliver life-saving supplies before the rainy season starts and road conditions significantly worsen.”

She went on to acknowledge measures by the Sudanese authorities over the past six weeks to facilitate humanitarian operations, she said that, since 1 April, 98 per cent of travel permits submitted by UN agencies have been approved.  “The facilitation we have seen over the past month and a half needs to be sustained and expanded,” she said, citing plans to move more than 600 trucks cross border or cross line in the second half of June and July to bring in 18,800 metric tons of supplies to support more than 1 million people in need.  However, the humanitarian appeal is woefully underfunded at $441 million or 16 per cent of the total $2.7 billion requirement.  In that regard, she welcomed the announcement by the United States last week to provide an additional $315 million for the humanitarian response in Sudan and neighbouring countries and that of the United Arab Emirates to allocate $70 million of its $100 million pledge in Paris to UN humanitarian agencies.  “We are in a race against time to avert massive loss of life in this unprecedented protection and food security crisis in Sudan,” she said, reiterating “three key asks”:  to protect civilians and the infrastructure they need for survival; to ensure unimpeded, sustained and expanded humanitarian access to people in need; and increased funding for the aid operation.  But, “the ultimate ask” is for this horrific conflict to stop, she stressed, urging the Council and Member States to do everything in their power to bring this war to an end.

LIMIAA AHMED, Senior Programme Director, Sudan Family Planning Association, recalling that she fled Sudan in 2023 because of the war, said that the latest conflict in her country has killed more than 16,000 people, displaced nearly 10 million and pushed 18 million into acute food insecurity.  “The conflict is also a war on women,” she emphasized, as they are the primary targets of gender-based violence and the majority of those displaced and adversely affected by hunger.  “Sudan is now one of the world’s largest displacement crises, and is on the cusp of becoming the world’s largest hunger crisis, with UN officials warning that famine is imminent,” she added.  As needs have grown, so have the challenges to humanitarian assistance and service delivery — in March and April, some 860,000 people did not receive aid in Kordofan, Khartoum and Darfur due to violent clashes and bureaucratic restrictions.

Also spotlighting escalating violence by the Rapid Support Forces in El Fasher, she said that there have been at least 200 people killed, over 1,000 civilians injured and over 129,000 displaced.  Additionally, an estimated 1.8 million people in El Fasher are at imminent risk of famine and in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.  Underscoring that there will be “catastrophic” consequences for civilians without urgent international action to stop the war in Sudan, she said:  “I am here to ask for your help, as the people of Sudan can wait no longer.”  For their part, Sudanese women and girls face the risk of sexual violence and exploitation in displacement, in transit, in temporary shelters and at border crossings, increasing rates of forced marriage and lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services in countries hosting the displaced.  Further, in areas controlled by the Rapid Support Forces, women and girls have been abducted and held in “inhumane and degrading slave-like conditions”, she reported.

“I have seen some of these facts and figures play out in reality,” she went on to say, noting that her organization has delivered over 33 million sexual and reproductive health services through its 15 branches across Sudan over the last 12 months.  She also said that her organization — “like all other Sudanese civil society organizations” — has worked under difficult, distressing conditions to deliver health services, socioeconomic and psychosocial support and capacity strengthening.  Due to the ongoing conflict, one of its staff has been killed, its clinics have been burned and looted, and it had to relocate its headquarters to an area not controlled by the Rapid Support Forces.  While women-led organizations have “spared no effort” to assist women and girls affected by gender-based violence, she said that the international community must support and fund them.

Recalling the adoption of resolution 2736 (2024) — “an important step” — she urged the Council to ensure its full implementation. She also called on donors to scale-up funding for the 2024 Humanitarian Response Plan for Sudan, which was only 16 per cent funded as of May, and to expand funding for local responders — “the backbone of the response to the current crisis”.  Given the scale and urgency of this crisis, the Council must identify credible options on the ground to ensure humanitarian operations across Sudan and document violations of international law.  “Sudanese women have paid the price of this war with their lives and with their bodies,” she observed, underscoring that there can be no peace in Sudan without women — whose voices must be at the heart of prevention, participation, protection and recovery efforts.  She concluded:  “Millions of Sudanese women and girls are looking to this Council to act now.”

Statements

The representative of the United Kingdom, stressing that the situation in El Fasher is appalling, said “civilians have been terrorized by systematic attacks, shocking sexual and gender-based violence and aerial bombardments”.  A full-scale attack on the city would be catastrophic for the 1.5 million Sudanese civilians sheltering there, he observed, calling on all sides to commit to protecting civilians and abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.  On the enormity of the humanitarian crisis in Sudan — with over 2 million people currently at severe risk of famine — he condemned the deliberate obstructionism, aid diversion and continued looting of aid convoys that have prevented life-saving supplies from reaching those most in need.  “The Sudanese people will move further towards famine if humanitarian assistance continues to be restricted,” he warned, calling on the Sudanese Armed Forces to immediately open the vital Adré border crossing.  He further urged the warring parties to facilitate rapid, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian workers across regions they control and immediately return to negotiations in good faith and without preconditions.

The representative of Guyana, also speaking for Algeria, Mozambique and Sierra Leone, said the conflict in Sudan has created a dire humanitarian crisis and caused increased civilian casualties, the destruction of critical civilian infrastructure and widespread displacement. Calling on the parties to commit to a cessation of hostilities and to lay foundations for a sustainable solution to the conflict, she regretted that civilians are bearing the brunt of this conflict, particularly women, children and the elderly.  The recruitment and use of children, the killing, maiming and commission of sexual violence, and attacks on schools and hospitals are violations of international law, she underscored.  The international community must support the efforts of the humanitarian agencies to provide support to the Sudanese people, including those internally displaced or seeking asylum around the region, she added.

Stressing the need for safe and unhindered access to all those in need, she also highlighted the importance of cross-line and cross-border aid delivery, as well as the sustained facilitation of administrative requirements to assist the most vulnerable.  In the absence of a UN mission on the ground, there is an urgent need for continued monitoring and reporting on human rights violations and on protection matters.  All mediation efforts, particularly the Jeddah talks and initiatives being led by the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy and the African Union High-level Implementation Panel must be supported.  Further, donor partners must urgently scale up humanitarian assistance and funding. It is deeply worrying that the Humanitarian Response Plan remains only 16.3 per cent funded, she said, calling on “those external parties fuelling the conflict, whether through the supply of arms and ammunition, recruitment, financing or any other means, to stop immediately”.

The representative of Ecuador condemned the massacre perpetrated in Wad al‑Noura, the attack on the South Hospital in El Fasher and the death of humanitarian workers.  He also repudiated the ethnic violence that — according to several reports — has been committed by the Rapid Support Forces. Considering these facts, the efforts of the Human Rights Council fact-finding mission in Sudan and the International Criminal Court to investigate human rights violations and crimes against humanity are timely and must be supported.  “The humanitarian crisis in Sudan, especially in the Darfur region, is alarming and unsustainable,” he said, calling for the implementation of Council resolution 2736 (2024) on El Fasher, which calls for an immediate ceasefire.  “Security Council resolutions are binding,” he stressed.

The representative of the United States, recalling the termination of the mandate of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in the Sudan (UNITAMS), said this followed Sudanese authorities’ decision that the Mission no longer served the people’s needs.  “Of course,” she noted, “this is despite the fact that the Sudanese warring parties are not concerned about the Sudanese people.”  Since that vote in December 2023, the catastrophe has only worsened and civilians have paid an unacceptable price.  “Reports indicate that some Sudanese have been forced to eat tree leaves to try to survive,” she said, also pointing out that El Fasher — once one of the last havens for civilians — has been indiscriminately attacked by the Rapid Support Forces.  Underscoring that “there is no military solution to this senseless war”, she noted that the United States recently announced $315 million in additional humanitarian assistance for Sudan.  For its part, the Council must “take further action until we have achieved peace for the Sudanese people”, she stressed.

The representative of Slovenia stated that, “for too long, war has inflicted suffering on the people of Sudan,” devastating every facet of Sudanese society.  “The path to sustainable peace is not paved with military action and weapons, but through dialogue and political process,” he observed, calling on the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces to silence their guns and engage in efforts for an immediate and durable ceasefire.  The conflict has disproportionately affected women and girls, exposing them to the pervasive use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Calling for accountability, he supported the efforts of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in investigating alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur and prioritizing the investigations of crimes involving sexual, reproductive and other gender-based violence.  Ongoing attacks on the health-care system in Sudan are depriving women and girls — especially pregnant women — of essential, life-saving reproductive health and protection services, he added.

The representative of France, welcoming the adoption of Council resolution 2736 (2024) last week, stressed that the Rapid Support Forces must put an end to the siege of El Fasher.  The security of civilians is at stake, and all parties must respect their obligations in that regard, she said.  Condemning attacks of medical and humanitarian facilities, she called for the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian relief supplies.  “Aid must reach all those that need it,” and commitments made by international partners at the International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan and neighbouring countries, held in Paris in April, must be honoured. Stressing the need to end all external aid to warring parties, she said that those who commit violations of international humanitarian law or the arms embargo are subject to sanctions. Welcoming the efforts of the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, she said her country will continue to mobilize to ensure that the Sudanese people have a credible and sustainable alternative to military power.

The representative of the Russian Federation said that the Sudanese authorities were not invited to participate in a Paris international conference in April on the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Sudan. “It is unacceptable for the difficult humanitarian situation to be used as a pretext for intervention in the domestic affairs of Sudan,” she said.  Noting that the diplomatic efforts of the United States and Saudi Arabia “have not yet yielded tangible results”, she expressed hope that the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy can restore the reputation of the United Nations after “the unsuccessful activities” of the former leadership of UNITAMS.  Moscow views the sovereign Council of the Republic of Sudan as that country’s highest legitimate governing body and advocates for preserving its unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty.  “The imposition on that country of external, dubious socioeconomic schemes and universal, so-called ‘democratizing’ templates has already demonstrably backfired,” she said.  Security Council sanctions have not helped normalize the Darfur region’s situation.  She asserted that any new restrictions, including a possible expansion of the sanctions regime beyond Darfur, will not help usher in peace.

The representative of Malta condemned the use of sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls, noting that the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict “arrives at a timely moment”.  Expressing concern over the lack of specialized protection capacity for women and children following the closure of UNITAMS, she called on the warring parties to issue and implement command orders on sexual and gender-based violence and grave violations against children — including the prohibition of attacks on, and the military use of, schools and hospitals.  She also stressed that the proliferation of weapons across Sudan, fuelled by external actors, has led to further violence and suffering, urging all Member States to refrain from external interference and comply with the arms embargo.  “Efforts should be steered, instead, towards mediation between the parties,” she said, adding that “dialogue and mediation are the only paths to end this war”.

The representative of Japan urged the Sudanese Armed Forces and Rapid Support Forces to immediately cease hostilities throughout Sudan — including localized conflicts — and reach a ceasefire agreement as soon as possible.  She further called on all parties to allow and facilitate full, rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access, including cross-border and cross-line, commending recent improvements in facilitation by the Sudanese authorities in issuing visas and travel authorizations.  Further, the arms-embargo measures must be strictly implemented as “supplies of weapons and ammunition from outside only prolong this conflict”.  Accordingly, she called for an end to any external interference that fuels the conflict and foments instability.  Further, all parties to the conflict must ensure an orderly transition to civilian rule while securing meaningful participation of women in political decision-making, she added.

The representative of Switzerland stressed that respect for international law, in particular international humanitarian law and human rights law, is “not a choice, but an obligation”.  Highlighting verified cases of recruitment of children for active combat, in particular in Darfur, she said Member States must respect the arms embargo, whose violations are subject to sanctions under Council resolution 1591 (2005), and refrain from any external interference that fuels the conflict. Condemning the attack on South Hospital in El Fasher, one of the only remaining functioning hospitals in the region, she said “a negotiated and lasting solution remains the only way out of this conflict.”  It will not be resolved on the battlefield, she said, adding that the parties must return to the negotiating table to find a peaceful, inclusive and Sudanese-led solution.

The representative of China welcomed the recent opening of some humanitarian routes and the facilitation of visa issuance by the Sudanese authorities, expressing support for constructive cooperation between the Government and its international humanitarian partners to continuously deliver sufficient aid to the Sudanese people in need.  Cross-border humanitarian access is a matter of a country’s sovereignty. International humanitarian organizations should remain neutral and impartial and obtain prior consent of the Government for such operations.  Citing a severe funding shortfall, he urged the international community, especially traditional donors, to fully and timely honour their commitments.  “Military means will lead nowhere, and political settlement is the only way to usher in peace in Sudan,” he declared.

The representative of the Republic of Korea, Council President for June, spoke in his national capacity to underline the need for hostilities to cease, as well as the importance of local mediation mechanisms towards this end.  All parties in Sudan must comply with their obligations under international law, and he urged them to exercise strict command and control systems over their forces.  While noting Sudanese authorities’ recent efforts to facilitate humanitarian aid, he called for further cooperation — “including the reopening of the crucial Adré border crossing” pursuant to resolution 2736 (2024). Additionally, external interference must cease, and the Sudanese parties to the conflict must realize, he stressed, that “this senseless war cannot be justified for any reason, nor does victory in such a war confer legitimacy”.  Stressing that “the UN’s role is more essential in Sudan than anywhere else”, he urged the Council — in the wake of UNITAMS’ termination — “to discuss the necessity of peace operations in Sudan as one possible option”.

The representative of Sudan condemned the military aggression launched by the Rapid Support Forces, noting their intention to put an end to the protection of civilians and disrupt the agricultural season.  This will lead to further food insecurity and displacement, “push millions of people to live on humanitarian aid” and turn Sudan into “a destructive settlement”, he warned.  The Council failed to address the situation, including the United Arab Emirates’ support for the Rapid Support militias.  Such failure will empower “a unique terrorist model” — including displaced, diaspora and migrants — who want to destroy Sudan, he added. Noting his Government’s commitment to international law, he said it prioritizes the protection of civilians. The Sudanese Armed Forces issued warnings through the media for citizens to leave any areas that are under the control of the rebels, who have targeted civilian infrastructure.

Sudan is committed to protecting humanitarians and ensuring their access “wherever they are”, he continued, noting that relief enters through the crossing agreed upon with the Government of Sudan.  Khartoum is ready to immediately implement a ceasefire in El Fasher on the condition that the Rapid Support militias abide by the terms of the 11 May Jeddah agreement.  “They must end the siege and withdraw their forces to the pre-siege location,” he asserted, adding that their besiegement of El Fasher has exacerbated the humanitarian situation.  Turning to sexual violence committed by the Rapid Support Forces, he stressed that Sudan is taking measures to protect civilians and ensure that the Sudanese Armed Forces are not engaged in any sexual or gender-based violence.  He rejected the claims that Sudan is on the brink of famine:  “Famine is related to the provision of grains from the production or through the imports — the grain production in Sudan is far from famine.”

The representative of the United Arab Emirates rejected the “ludicrous allegations” made by Sudan’s delegate, adding that that the Sudanese Armed Forces is one of the warring parties to this conflict.  His country is allocating $70 million in aid through key partners and the United Nations, he said, noting other aid contributions, as well.  Calling on both sides to protect civilians and infrastructure and move towards a civilian transition, he said the Sudanese people deserve peace and justice, a credible political process and unhindered flow of humanitarian aid.  “Excuses and finger-pointing only prolong their suffering,” he said, asking the Sudanese Armed Forces why they won’t come to the Jeddah talks if they seek an end to the conflict.  “What are you waiting for?”, he asked, adding that, instead of grandstanding in international fora, they should take the responsibility for ending the conflict they began.

The representative of Sudan, taking the floor a second time, said that the United Arab Emirates is sponsoring terrorism.  His delegation has presented evidence, including six Emirate passports.  A week ago, they were found in Khartoum in joint operations perpetrated by the Rapid Response Forces.  “We did not steal these passports from the suitcases of [United Arab Emirates] citizens,” he said, adding:  “We found them in the heart of the battlefield.”  That country must stay away from Sudan and stop its support to the Rapid Response Forces.  He had asked the Council to openly mention and condemn the United Arab Emirates so that it would stop its involvement.

The representative of the United Arab Emirates, taking the floor a second time, pointed to the “shameful abuse” of the Council by one of the Sudanese warring parties.  That representative is using the organ as a platform to spread false allegations against the United Arab Emirates and distract from grave violations happening on the ground, he stressed, adding that “there will be no military victory” in Sudan as “the only way to settle will be at the negotiating table”.  Noting that the “representative of the Sudanese Armed Forces” referred to allegations sent via letter to the Council, he said that his country has responded to these false claims.  And, as a further letter will be transmitted, he said:  “We will respond to that letter once more.”

For information media. Not an official record.