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Thursday, May 23, 2024

UN calls to end Sudan’s escalating conflict during Ramadan

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres issues a fervent plea for a ceasefire during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Sudan, a country torn by internal strife and conflict, is facing a critical juncture as the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres issues a fervent plea for a ceasefire during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The nearly year-long conflict, characterized by escalating violence and humanitarian crises, threatens not only the unity of Sudan but also the stability of the entire region.

Escalating Conflict 

Last April, Sudan descended into chaos as tensions between military and paramilitary factions erupted into violent street battles in the capital, Khartoum. The conflict quickly spread across the country, particularly devastating the western region of Darfur. Here, ethnic African civilians have borne the brunt of brutal attacks by the Arab-dominated Rapid Support Forces, reminiscent of the atrocities witnessed two decades ago.

Read More: About 15000 killed in ethnic confrontations in Sudan

The International Criminal Court has raised alarm over possible war crimes, crimes against humanity, or even genocide being committed in Darfur. The situation has reached a critical point, with renewed military offensives, armed groups entering the fray, and growing fears of further fragmentation and ethnic violence.

Ramadan Ceasefire

In a bid to stem the suffering and pave the way for sustainable peace, Secretary-General Guterres has urged all warring parties to observe a ceasefire during Ramadan. The appeal, supported by a British-drafted resolution expected to be voted on by the UN Security Council, highlights the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for immediate action.

Response and Challenges

While the head of Sudan’s military, General Abdel Fattah Burhan, has welcomed the ceasefire appeal, there remains uncertainty as the commander of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, has yet to respond. The government’s eagerness to implement the ceasefire is hindered by ongoing attacks by the Rapid Support Forces, raising questions about the feasibility of halting hostilities.

Read More: Tensions rise between Sudan army and United Arab Emirates

Amid the conflict, Sudan faces a humanitarian catastrophe of colossal proportions. Half of the country’s population, approximately 25 million people, require life-saving assistance. Food insecurity is rampant, with 18 million people facing acute hunger. Reports of malnourished children dying and systematic sexual violence further highlight the dire situation.