ANI Photo | UN Security Council calls for ceasefire, humanitarian response in Sudan during Ramadan

Amid the prevailing violence in Sudan, the United Nations Security Council called for a ceasefire to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and allow aid to reach 25 million people in ‘desperate need of food’ with the humanitarian response at breaking point, Al Jazeera reported on Saturday.
According to the report, fourteen countries on the 15-member council on Friday backed the resolution proposed by the United Kingdom, with only Russia abstained on the vote that called on “all parties to the conflict to seek a sustainable resolution to the conflict through dialogue.”
Fighting has been raging in Sudan since April 15, 2023, pitting the army of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of General Mohamed Hamdan “Hemedti” Dagalo.
Tens of thousands of people have since been killed, 8.3 million have been forcibly displaced and the fighting has additionally destroyed infrastructure and crippled the economy.
Britain’s deputy UN ambassador, James Kariuki, urged the Sudanese Armed Forces and the RSF “to act on this united international call for peace and to silence the guns”.
The resolution called on all sides to adopt an immediate “cessation of hostilities” ahead of Ramadan, a time for fasting, prayer and reflection for Muslims worldwide.
It urged the warring parties to allow “unhindered” humanitarian access across borders and battlelines.
The resolution also expressed “grave concern over the spreading violence and the catastrophic and deteriorating humanitarian situation, including crisis levels, or worse, of acute food insecurity, particularly in Darfur”.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday that both sides should “honour the values of Ramadan by honouring a Ramadan cessation of hostilities” as he warned that the conflict threatens Sudan’s unity and “could ignite regional instability of dramatic proportions.”
The African Union also backed a halt to fighting during Ramadan which is expected to begin on or around Monday, depending on the sighting of the crescent moon, Al Jazeera reported.
While al-Burhan reportedly welcomed the UN chief’s appeal, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Friday that set conditions for a ceasefire to be effective, which included the RSF withdrawing from provinces they have taken control of. There has been no response from the RSF.
Additionally, UN aid chief Martin Griffiths said humanitarian aid access in Sudan needs to be improved whether or not a ceasefire is declared.
Half of the country’s 50 million people are in need of aid and “just under 18 million people are on the road to famine,” Griffiths said, adding that 10 million more people “are in the category of food insecure than the same time last year”.
The UN’s USD 2.7 billion humanitarian response plan for Sudan in 2024 is currently only 4 percent funded.
“We have no money,” Griffiths said, and “we want to put Sudan on the map.” (ANI)

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