UN envoy denounces attacks on Sudanese civilians

AFP , Wednesday 26 Apr 2023

The United Nations head of mission to Sudan denounced on Tuesday the "disregard for the laws and norms of war" in the conflict that has seen civilians and hospitals attacked.

Volker Perthes (R), Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Sudan and Head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan, speaks with a man during the evacuation of internationally-recruited personnel in Port Sudan on April 24, 2023.AFP


"Both of the warring parties have fought with disregard for the laws and norms of war, attacking densely populated areas, with little consideration for civilians, for hospitals, or even for vehicles transferring the wounded and sick," Volker Perthes told the UN Security Council.

A 72-hour cease-fire announced Monday by the United States between Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the de-facto leader of the country, and Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, head of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, was partially respected Tuesday in Khartoum, where the two generals have been battling for control.

But fighting around strategic locations in the capital, including the international airport, "has largely continued or in some cases intensified," Perthes said, speaking from Port Sudan, in the country's east, where the UN and others have relocated some of their personnel.

"There is yet no unequivocal sign that either is ready to seriously negotiate, suggesting that both think that securing a military victory over the other is possible."

The fighting, Perthes said, "has created a humanitarian catastrophe with civilians bearing the brunt."

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres repeated his concerns that the conflict could spread to other countries in the region.

"Sudan borders seven countries, all of which have either been involved in conflict or seen serious civil unrest over the past decade," he said.

"The power struggle in Sudan is not only putting that country's future at risk. It is lighting a fuse that could detonate across borders, causing immense suffering for years, and setting development back by decades."

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