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Security Council resolution demands RSF end siege on Sudan's El Fasher

Britain’s United Nations Ambassador Barbara Woodward addresses the United Nations Security Council during an emergency meeting at U.N. headquarters, Sunday, April 14, 2024   -  
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Yuki Iwamura/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.

Darfur Sudan

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution Thursday demanding that Sudan’s paramilitary force immediately halt its siege of the only capital in the vast western region of Darfur that it doesn’t control and where more than a million people are reportedly trapped.

The British-sponsored resolution, which was approved by a vote of 14-0 with Russia abstaining, also calls on the paramilitary Rapid Support Force and Sudanese military “to seek an immediate cessation of hostilities” leading to an end to their more than year-long war.

It expresses “grave concern” at the spreading violence and credible reports that the Rapid Support Forces are carrying out “ethnically motivated violence” in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, as well as last year in El Geneina in West Darfur.

Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Barbara Woodward told the council after the vote that the resolution sends a clear message: the RSF must “immediately stop the siege of El Fasher and that all sides step back from the brink.”

“An attack on the city would be catastrophic for the 1.5 million people sheltering in the city,” she warned. “This brutal and unjust conflict must end.”

Sudan plunged into conflict in mid-April 2023, when long-simmering tensions between its military and paramilitary leaders broke out in the capital Khartoum and spread to other regions including Darfur. The U.N. says over 14,000 people have been killed and 33,000 injured.