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Sudan war: “Time to silence the guns” UN chief pleads, ahead of vote on truce resolution

Antonio Guterres at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024.   -  
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Sudan war

A UN Security Council meeting focused Thursday (Mar. 07) on the war in Sudan.

The United Nations Secretary-General warned that the nearly year-long conflict risks escalating regional instability and further fracturing the country.

The conflict pits the Sudanese army gainst the paramilitary RSF.

“The conflict has taken a devastating toll on the people of Sudan, imperilling the unity of the country," Antonio Guterers said. 

"There is now a serious risk that the conflict could ignite regional instability of dramatic proportions, from the Sahel to the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea.”

Guterres also expressed alarm at calls for arming civilians, and popular mobilization activities in various states.

Algeria's representative who also spoke for Mozambique and Sierra Leone, told the Council he was troubled by reports that external actors are fueling the crisis in Sudan, instead of helping to advance peace efforts. 

“Let us be clear, external interferences have to be publicly and firmly condemned,” Amar Bendjama said, declaring: “Peace must prevail in the Sudan.”

Bendjama welcomed the announced decision of the Sudanese authorities to facilitate humanitarian access through several border crossing points. 

The council is expected to vote on a draft resolution demanding a truce during the upcoming Muslim holy month.

The country "is now home to the world’s largest internal displacement crisis, with 6.3 million people seeking safety within the country since the beginning of the conflict," Guterres said.

According to that the World Food Program, 18 million people across Sudan are facing acute hunger, with the most desperate trapped behind the front lines. They include 5 million who face starvation.

The war in Sudan has killed over 12,000 Sudanese since April 15, 2023.