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UN: Sudan quickly descending into 'death and destruction'

June 20, 2023 at 11:56 am

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres holds the end of the year press conference at the UN Headquarters in New York, United States on December 19, 2022. [Selçuk Acar/Anadolu Agency]

Sudan is quickly descending into “death and destruction”, UN chief António Guterres warned yesterday.

Addressing donors at a pledging event in Geneva convened by the UN with Egypt, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU), Guterres said that some $3 billion was needed to assist people in Sudan and those who have fled to neighbouring countries.

“The scale and speed of Sudan’s descent into death and destruction is unprecedented,” he warned. “Without strong international support, Sudan could quickly become a locus of lawlessness, radiating insecurity across the region.”

Speaking via video message as a new temporary ceasefire between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) was coming into effect, the UN chief said that hundreds of civilians had been killed and many thousands more injured since clashes erupted in mid-April.

“These numbers grow by the day. The situation in Darfur and Khartoum is catastrophic. Fighting is raging with people attacked in their homes and on the street,” Guterres said.

READ: UN rights chief says dozens of women in Sudan subjected to sexual violence

“Before this conflict erupted, Sudan was already grappling with a humanitarian crisis. This has now escalated into a catastrophe affecting more than half the country’s people.”

The UN Secretary-General insisted that it was the international community’s duty to support the people of Sudan and neighbouring countries.

He also condemned violence against aid workers and the looting of humanitarian supplies, appealing to the waring parties to protect civilians and enable humanitarian action, in line with international law.