Sudan: UN calls for 3-day truce to help trapped civilians

Guterres said he has been personally engaged in doing everything possible to make such a ceasefire happen..reports Asian Lite News

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a three-day ceasefire in Sudan to allow trapped civilians to flee.

“As an immediate priority, I appeal for a ceasefire to take place for at least three days, marking the Eid al-Fitr celebrations, to allow civilians trapped in conflict zones to escape and to seek medical treatment, food and other essential supplies,” he told reporters at the UN Headquarters in New York, Xinhua news agency reported.

“This must be the first step in providing respite from the fighting and paving the way for a permanent ceasefire,” he added.

Guterres said he has been personally engaged in doing everything possible to make such a ceasefire happen, adding that the cessation of hostilities must be followed by serious dialogue allowing for the successful transition, starting with the appointment of a civilian government.

This photo taken on April 15 shows smoke rising in Khartoum, capital of Sudan. (Photo by Mohamed Khidir/Xinhua

Guterres made the appeal after he virtually attended a meeting convened by the African Union on the Sudan crisis, which brought together the United Nations, the League of Arab States, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and the European Union, as well as representatives from a number of countries that are deeply committed to solving the crisis.

At the meeting, there was a strong consensus on condemning the ongoing fighting in Sudan and calling for a cessation of hostilities, he said.

“The fighting must stop immediately. I am deeply concerned about the terrible toll on civilians, the appalling humanitarian situation, and the horrifying prospect of further escalation,” said Guterres.

According to the UN chief, hundreds of people have been killed and injured in the fighting, and humanitarian operations are virtually impossible.

“Targeting humanitarian workers and assets must end. I remind all parties of their obligations under international law, including ensuring the safety and security of humanitarian aid workers,” he said.

Guterres also expressed grave concern about the situation of UN personnel in Sudan, many of whom are trapped in their homes in areas of active conflict.

He pledged to continue to use his good offices, in close coordination with partners, to establish a ceasefire, de-escalate tensions and start political talks.

The holy month of Ramadan provides an opportunity for a ceasefire to hold, he said. “I think this is the right moment for a ceasefire to hold.”

“This ceasefire is absolutely crucial at the present moment. We have been in contact with the parties. We believe it is possible, but everybody must be united in putting pressure for the ceasefire to take effectively place,” said Guterres.

The United Nations stands with the Sudanese people, in full support of their wishes for a peaceful, secure future and a return to the democratic transition, he said.

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