Sudan in Crisis: Escalating Violence Persists as Khartoum Urges 'Immediate Termination' of UN Mission

Sudan in Crisis: Escalating Violence Persists as Khartoum Urges 'Immediate Termination' of UN Mission

Khartoum - The military government of Sudan communicated to the UN chief, in a letter distributed to the Council outlining the mandate of each UN peacekeeping or political mission, its commitment to engaging constructively with the UN while simultaneously urging for the withdrawal of the mission. Sudan joins the ranks of African nations, including Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, seeking the withdrawal of UN missions this year.

In a briefing to Security Council ambassadors, Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, reported that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have gained territory in Darfur, displacing the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) from several bases since late October. The RSF appears poised to advance on El Fasher in north Darfur, the last SAF stronghold, raising concerns about potential civilian casualties among the large population of internally displaced persons.

Ms. Pobee highlighted the escalation of conflicts beyond Darfur, with ongoing clashes in Khartoum, Omdurman, and Bahri. The main battlegrounds are around SAF strongholds, and hostilities are spreading to new areas such as Gezira, White Nile, and West Kordofan states. The conflict has led to a severe humanitarian crisis, with over 6,000 civilian deaths, 7.1 million displaced people, and widespread human rights violations, including sexual and gender-based violence.

Despite challenges, the UN and partners have provided life-saving aid to 22 percent of the targeted assistance for 2023. Ms. Pobee reported that Ian Martin, an experienced UN negotiator, has been appointed by the Secretary-General to conduct a strategic review of UNITAMS, considering adaptations to its mandate in response to wartime conditions.

In conclusion, Ms. Pobee stressed the importance of recognizing the futility of continued fighting, urging the SAF and RSF to prioritize dialogue and de-escalation. She emphasized Sudan's situation as a global concern, calling on the international community to renew its commitment to coordinated peace efforts led by the region.

During the meeting, Sudan's representative expressed the government's cooperation with regional and international forces since April 18 to end the war and alleviate the Sudanese people's suffering. He called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to address RSF's crimes, citing forced expulsions, ethnic cleansing, and other international crimes despite commitments made in recent talks in Saudi Arabia. The representative asserted the need for a strategic review of UNITAMS, stating that its functioning does not align with expectations.

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