International Conference in Paris Aims to Coordinate Initiatives and Pressure Warring Parties in Sudan

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A humanitarian conference on Sudan commenced on April 15th, 2024, in Paris with the objective of “breaking the silence” surrounding the “forgotten” war that has been ongoing in the East African country for just over a year, gathering over a billion euros in donations, and coordinating mediations to end the conflict.

“For a year now, the Sudanese people have been victims of a terrible war that only brings chaos and suffering,” lamented French Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Séjourné. “The Sudanese are also victims of neglect and indifference,” he continued.

The first political segment of the large conference on Sudan began on Monday morning in Paris, with the presence of European ministers, as well as representatives from neighboring states and those involved in various mediations. A notable and deliberate absence: that of the warring parties.

Central to this meeting is finding ways to pressure the warring parties to facilitate humanitarian aid delivery.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union (AU), and the United Nations (UN): mediation initiatives are numerous and scattered.

The objective of the morning session, is to coordinate initiatives, explains Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs. “There are at least three or four mediation procedures. This is too many, and perhaps not all have the quality label that we demand from mediators.

So, the purpose of this conference is to determine how we can let the protagonism, the desire to influence, be. Russia is also here. And that would be one of the goals of this conference: to ensure that this mediation process is less fragmented and more coordinated. But this depends on the political will of the actors.”

Another issue is the involvement of certain mediation actors in the Sudanese conflict. Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, asserts: “We are exerting all the pressure we can to discourage countries politically or materially supporting either party in this conflict. And we are speaking to them and calling on them to exert pressure on both warring parties to respect their international legal obligations regarding international humanitarian law.”

The aim is therefore to apply political pressure to open humanitarian corridors, achieve a ceasefire, and ultimately facilitate a democratic transition.

The second part of the day will focus on fundraising to aid Sudan. Only 5% of the United Nations response plan is currently funded. This morning, Germany announced mobilizing an additional 244 million euros, with 355 million euros pledged by the European Commission.


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