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Sudan: Security Council members call for immediate halt to military escalation in El Fasher
El Fasher
Photo Courtesy: UNICEF/Shehzad Noorani

Sudan: Security Council members call for immediate halt to military escalation in El Fasher

| @indiablooms | 28 Apr 2024, 07:25 pm

UN Security Council members on Saturday called on the warring parties in Sudan to immediately halt the military build-up and take steps to de-escalate the situation in El Fasher, the provincial capital of North Darfur.

The call comes amid reports of an imminent offensive by the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and their allied militia against the city, which could threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of displaced persons currently sheltering there.

At least 43 people, among them women and children, have been killed in fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and RSF – backed by their respective militia – since 14 April, when the RSF began its push into El Fasher, according to the UN human rights office (OHCHR).

The office added that civilians trapped in the city – the only one in Darfur still in the hands of the SAF – are afraid of being killed should they attempt to flee. The dire situation is compounded by a severe shortage of essential supplies as deliveries of commercial goods and humanitarian aid have been heavily constrained by the fighting and access challenges through RSF-controlled territory.

Plunged into turmoil

Sudan has been plunged into turmoil since fighting erupted between SAF and paramilitary RSF, last April.

More than 14,000 people have been killed and thousands more wounded, amid reports of abhorrent sexual and gender-based violence.

The war has also displaced over six million civilians within Sudan and a further 1.8 million across its borders, against a backdrop of a massive crisis that has left 25 million people in need of humanitarian aid and protection.

End military build-up

In a statement, Security Council members called on SAF and RSF to end the build-up of military forces and to take steps to de-escalate the situation and comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Council members also repeated their call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, leading to a sustainable ceasefire.

They urged all Member States to refrain from external interference that seeks to foment conflict and instability and instead to support efforts for a durable peace.

They also reminded all parties to the conflict and Member States to adhere to their obligations to comply with the arms embargo measures as stipulated in resolutions 1556 (2004) and 2676 (2023).

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