UN resolution for Ramadan ceasefire in Sudan 'has been ignored'

'Nearly a year since this crisis began, the situation in Sudan remains catastrophic and it is only getting worse,' US ambassador says

International attempts to stop the fighting in Sudan have so far failed. AFP
Powered by automated translation

The US envoy to the UN said on Thursday warring parties in Sudan had both undermined aid operations and ignored a Security Council calling for an immediate ceasefire during Ramadan.

“Nearly a year since this crisis began, the situation in Sudan remains catastrophic and it is only getting worse,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield told reporters in New York.

"People are starving."

War broke out on April 15, 2023, between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

Almost a year later, tens of thousands have been killed and millions forced from their homes, with the impoverished country pushed to the brink of famine.

According to the UN, almost 28 million people across the region affected by the conflict face acute food insecurity, with 18 million in Sudan, seven million in South Sudan and nearly three million in Chad.

The UN said about 730,000 children in Sudan, including more than 240,000 in Darfur, are believed to be suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Ms Thomas-Greenfield accused the SAF of impeding aid from Chad into Sudan's Darfur region, controlled by the rival RSF.

She called on the Sudanese military to immediately and fully reopen border crossings with Chad for humanitarian purposes.

The US diplomat said that should this not occur, the Security Council will take swift action to ensure life-saving aid is delivered and distributed, including, if necessary, through a cross-border mechanism.

International attempts to stop the fighting have so far failed. A series of ceasefires mediated by the US and Saudi Arabia during the early days of the war proved short-lived or collapsed as soon as they went into force.

The Sudanese army has rejected the UN ceasefire resolution adopted this month that called for a halt to fighting during Ramadan, which began on March 11, indicating its intention to fight on until victory.

It has said there would be no peace negotiations with the RSF before the paramilitary gives up the areas it has captured during the war.

Nearly quarter of a million children face famine in Sudan – video

Nearly quarter of a million children face famine in Sudan

Nearly quarter of a million children face famine in Sudan

The UN has accused both sides of committing “horrific violations and abuses”.

In a report published last month, the UN said the army and RSF have “used explosive weapons with wide-area effects, such as missiles fired from fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles, anti-aircraft weapons and artillery shells in densely populated areas”.

The report also accused the RSF of using civilians as human shields.

Ms Thomas-Greenfield urged the warring parties to stop fighting and get Sudan on the path to peace because “we cannot hope to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in and around Sudan if we do not address the root causes”.

US special envoy to Sudan Tom Perriello said the situation in the war-torn African state could grow dramatically worse in the coming weeks.

“It's been clear that the Sudanese people are very united in what they want: they want an end to this war," Mr Perriello said. "They want full cross-border and cross-line access.

“They want to build the core institutions of democratic Sudan.”

He voiced hope that Sudan's warring generals will resume talks after Ramadan and work to prevent a broader regional war, despite the failure of previous negotiations.

The US is eyeing April 18 for a possible resumption of peace talks on Sudan in Saudi Arabia, Mr Perriello said.

Displaced in Sudan – in pictures

Updated: March 29, 2024, 3:45 AM