Sudan: UN Calls for Ceasefire During Ramadan Amid “Specter of Famine”

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The head of the United Nations (UN) urged, on Thursday, March 7th, at the Security Council, for the establishment of a ceasefire in Sudan during the holy month of Ramadan. Antonio Guterres called on Generals Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and Mohammed Hamdan Dogolo, also known as Hemedti, to lay down their arms after nearly 11 months of conflict.

The ongoing conflict has resulted in thousands of deaths, created one of the largest displacements of people in history with 8 million affected Sudanese, and plunged the country into a humanitarian catastrophe: half of the population requires vital assistance.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for honoring the values ​​of Ramadan and demanded a ceasefire from rival forces in Sudan for the entire duration of the Muslim festival, expected to begin on March 10 or 11. This call comes as the “specter of famine looms” over the entire country.

The head of the UN reiterated his concerns that the Sudanese conflict may destabilize the entire region – from the Sahel to the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea. He expressed “alarm” at developments that risk “further fragmenting the country, exacerbating intra and inter-communal tensions, and worsening ethnic violence.”

The UN Security Council heard his plea, and a draft resolution to this effect is under discussion, spearheaded by the United Kingdom. It could be voted on as early as Friday, March 8, although Russian and Chinese representatives have been more cautious. The Sudanese ambassador relayed an ambiguous message from General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane, who, on one hand, politely welcomed the Secretary-General’s appeal, but on the other hand, did not believe it to be pragmatically achievable, given the ongoing fighting on the ground.

This diplomatic effort underscores the urgency of the situation in Sudan and the importance of international cooperation in addressing the humanitarian crisis and restoring peace to the region.

Soukaina Sghir

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