SILENCE THE GUNS-GUTERRES TO SUDAN
The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, warned the Security Council that "the power struggle in Sudan is not only putting that country's future at risk", but it is also "lighting a fuse that could detonate across borders, causing immense suffering for years, and setting development back by decades."
Briefing Council members on Tuesday (April 25th), Guterres said that "these ten days of violence and chaos are heartbreaking" and "a prolonged, full-scale war is unbearable to contemplate."
The UN chief added, "The fighting must stop immediately. We need an all-out effort for peace. I call on the parties to the conflict, Generals Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo "Hemedti", and the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, to silence the guns. It is incumbent on Sudanese leaders to put the interests of their people front and center. This conflict will not, and must not, be resolved on the battlefield – with the bodies of Sudan's people."
According to Guterres, "The Sudanese people have made their wishes very clear," and "they want peace and the restoration of civilian rule through the transition to democracy."
The Secretary-General also noted that "the parties to the conflict must respect the 72-hour ceasefire brokered by the United States and come together to establish a permanent cessation of hostilities."
To conclude, Guterres urged "all Council members and other Member States and regional organizations with influence to press them to de-escalate tensions and return to the negotiating table immediately."
Also briefing the Council, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes, said that "both of the warring parties have fought with disregard for the laws and norms of war, attacking densely populated areas, with little consideration for civilians, for hospitals, or even vehicles transferring the wounded and the sick."
According to Perthes, "both leaders have not been able to fully commit to a complete ceasefire or implement one", and "the two generals continue trading accusations and issuing competing claims of control over key installations." The Special Representative added, "There is yet no unequivocal sign that either is ready to seriously negotiate, suggesting that both think that securing a military victory over the other is possible. This is a miscalculation."
The Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Joyce Msuya, said, "What has been unfolding there since April 15th is a nightmare for ordinary citizens and aid workers alike" and "the fighting must stop." Detailing all the humanitarian needs the country dealt with before this violence, Msuya said that "this conflict will not only deepen those needs" but also "also threatens to unleash an entirely new wave of humanitarian challenges."
"Fighting is massively impeding and imperiling aid operations. A humanitarian crisis is quickly turning into a catastrophe," added the Assistant Secretary-General.
The Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, Fatima Kyari Mohammed, told the Council members about other dangers, noting that "there is a real risk of regional conflagration and indeed internationalizing this conflict - all the ingredients are there."
Mohammed added, "We have seen this happen 11 years ago in Libya, which is on the Sudan's northern border. Consequences of which the entire region is still affected today."
Representing Sudan, Permanent Representative Al-Harith Idriss al-Harith Mohamed "The current events wouldn't have happened had the international community shouldered its commitments and provided the financial support to finalize the DDR [Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration] process in Darfur, which would be an example to follow."
"That peace-building process was short-sighted," added the ambassador.