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UN warns of the risk of increased ethnic violence in Sudan

A doctor treats a child in Sudan   -  
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Patricia Simon/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.


As fighting in Sudan between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces rages on, the United Nations says the world is in a race against time to avert a massive loss life.

“Without swift action, Sudan risks becoming engulfed in more ethnic violence and fragment even further. The risk of a conflict spillover remains high,” said UN Assistant Secretary-General for Africa, Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee.

She added that between 16 April and 9 June, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights documented at least 192 civilian deaths in El Fasher.

“Since then, dozens more civilians, including women and children, have reportedly been killed. Civilians are in the line of fire. Nowhere is safe for them.”

The UN said that with famine impending, human rights violations on the rise, and fighting escalating, the international community must work towards an immediate ceasefire in Sudan.

Sudan’s permanent representative to the UN,  Al-Harith Idriss al-Harith Mohamed, meanwhile stressed his government commitment to resolve the situation.

“The government of Sudan is committed to international humanitarian law, including during military operations. The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) are committed to the rules of engagement,” he said.

He said the army “prioritises the protection of civilians” and the “non-targeting of their properties or civilian infrastructure”.

Mohamed added that the SAF had issued warnings through social media so that citizens leave any areas that are under the control of the rebels, where “they would be considered as legitimate targets”.

The UN is calling for the protection of civilians and the infrastructure they need for survival, unimpeded and expanded humanitarian access to people in need, and increased funding for the aid operation.

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