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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Urges Global Action to Avert Humanitarian Catastrophe in Sudan

By: ATN News

United Nations: In a poignant address to the press at the United Nations headquarters in New York on April 15, 2024, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a stark warning about the dire situation unfolding in Sudan. Against the backdrop of escalating violence and deepening humanitarian crisis, Guterres implored the international community to refocus its attention on the plight of the Sudanese people.

Guterres lamented that amid the global spotlight on crises elsewhere, the suffering of millions in Sudan has been overshadowed. He emphasized that the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces transcends mere military confrontation; it is an assault on the very fabric of Sudanese society. The toll of the conflict is staggering, with thousands dead, tens of thousands maimed, and millions facing acute hunger and the looming specter of famine.

The Secretary-General painted a grim picture of the devastation wrought by the conflict, highlighting the indiscriminate attacks on civilians, including the targeting of aid convoys and the pervasive scourge of sexual violence against women and girls. He underscored the gravity of the situation, noting that over 8 million people have been displaced, with 1.8 million seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Shockingly, half of Sudan's population—some 25 million people—are now in desperate need of lifesaving assistance.

Guterres sounded the alarm over the recent escalation of hostilities in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, where RSF-affiliated militias have launched attacks, triggering mass displacement and raising fears of intercommunal conflict. He warned that any assault on El Fasher would have catastrophic consequences, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and impeding aid operations in an area already teetering on the brink of famine.

Amid this unfolding tragedy, Guterres called for urgent action to avert further catastrophe. He urged all parties to facilitate the safe passage of humanitarian personnel and supplies into El Fasher and across Sudan, emphasizing the imperative of unhindered humanitarian access. The Secretary-General highlighted the International Humanitarian Conference for Sudan and its Neighbors, hosted by France, Germany, and the European Union, as a crucial forum for galvanizing support for Sudan's beleaguered populace.

However, Guterres expressed concern over the inadequate funding for humanitarian efforts, revealing that the $2.7 billion Humanitarian Response Plan for Sudan and the $1.4 billion Regional Refugee Response Plan remain woefully underfunded, at 6% and 7% respectively. He called on the international community to fulfill its pledges and ensure robust support for Sudan's humanitarian needs.

In addition to humanitarian aid, Guterres stressed the urgent need for a political solution to end the bloodshed and pave the way for lasting peace in Sudan. He reiterated his envoy's tireless mediation efforts and called for concerted global action to pressure the warring parties to cease hostilities and engage in meaningful dialogue.

In the face of mounting suffering and despair, Guterres issued a solemn plea for solidarity and collective action, emphasizing that the future of Sudan hinges on a united global response to confront the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe.

As questions from journalists underscored the challenges and complexities of the situation, Guterres remained resolute in his conviction that only through concerted international effort and unwavering commitment to peace can the Sudanese people find hope amid the darkness of conflict.


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