The United Nations is calling for an end to the massive humanitarian crisis in Sudan as the country’s military factions resume talks hosted by Saudi Arabia.
“The Jeddah negotiations could not have commenced at a better time. It has been over six months since the crisis in Sudan began and the ongoing humanitarian disaster in the country shows no signs of improvement,” stated UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths in a released statement on Sunday.
Although he expressed appreciation for the negotiations being resumed and extended gratitude to Saudi Arabia for hosting them, Mr. Griffiths emphasized the severe circumstances: “Numerous individuals have lost their lives or sustained injuries. One out of every nine individuals has been forced to leave their homes. Almost one-third of the population is at risk of experiencing food insecurity.”
In mid-April, a conflict began in Sudan between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Force, resulting in open warfare in Khartoum and other parts of the country.
‘Colossal’ humanitarian crisis
The United Nations’ leader for emergency aid stated that Sudan’s healthcare infrastructure is severely damaged, and there is a threat of disease outbreaks such as cholera. Additionally, there is a concern that a whole generation of Sudanese children may not receive a complete education.
Mr. Griffiths emphasized that the humanitarian sector is making every effort to address the continuously growing demands.
In the middle of April, we have aided 3.6 million individuals, but this only accounts for 20% of our intended beneficiaries,” he stated. He acknowledged that relief workers are hindered by conflict, instability, and bureaucratic obstacles, creating a highly challenging situation in Sudan.
The importance of the Jeddah talks lies in the fact that we require the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces to overcome the bureaucratic obstacles, as stated by the speaker.
Mr. Griffiths, who holds the position of UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, emphasized the importance of strict compliance with international humanitarian laws. He stressed the need for ensuring safe and unrestricted access to those in need, regardless of their location, such as in Darfur, Khartoum, or the Kordofans.
Mr. Griffith, the head of the UN’s OCHA office, stated that they will oversee the humanitarian aspect of the negotiations due to the significant humanitarian crisis.
Comprehensive ceasefire needed
The UN’s UNITAMS expressed its approval of the talks in Jeddah, facilitated by Saudi Arabia, the United States, the African Union, and IGAD, to resume negotiations.
The Mission stated in a press release its hopes for successful negotiations leading to the fulfillment of the Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan, which was signed on May 11, 2023. The Mission also emphasized the importance of a comprehensive ceasefire in order to alleviate the suffering of the Sudanese people.
The mission also acknowledged the current efforts of various civilian groups who are advocating for an end to the war. They stressed the importance of finding a solution that would result in the resumption of the democratic political transition.