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UNSC adopts resolution demanding RSF end siege of Sudan’s Al Fasher

The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution demanding that Sudan’s paramilitary force, Rapid Support Forces [RSF], halt its siege of the only capital in the vast western region of Darfur that it doesn’t control, where more than a million people are reportedly trapped.

The resolution, which was approved on Thursday by a vote of 14-0 with Russia abstaining, expressed “grave concern” at the spreading violence and credible reports that the RSF is carrying out “ethnically motivated violence” in Al Fasher.

The resolution demands that the RSF and main military ensure the protection of civilians, including allowing those wishing to move in Al Fasher or leave the North Darfur capital to safer areas.

It calls for an immediate halt to the fighting and de-escalation around Al Fasher, and for “the withdrawal of all fighters that threaten the safety and security of civilians.”

The resolution calls on both sides “to seek an immediate cessation of hostilities, leading to a sustainable resolution to the conflict, through dialogue,” supported by UN envoy Ramtane Lamamra and the African Union’s High-Level Panel on Sudan.

It also calls on all nations to halt interference fomenting conflict and instability instead of peace efforts and to remind countries supplying weapons to the combatants that they are violating a UN arms embargo and could face sanctions.

UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo told the council on April 19 that the year-long war has been fuelled by weapons from foreign supporters who continue to flout UN sanctions aimed at helping end the conflict. “This is illegal, it is immoral, and it must stop,” she said.

She didn’t name any of the foreign supporters.

‘Imminent risk of famine’

The resolution expresses concern at “the catastrophic and deteriorating humanitarian situation, including crisis-level or worse acute food insecurity and the imminent risk of famine, particularly in Darfur.”

The UN humanitarian office said on Tuesday that the UN and aid organisations “are working against the clock to stave off famine and mitigate the most pressing humanitarian needs in Sudan.”

But the UN said this is “incredibly challenging” because this year’s humanitarian appeal for Sudan is just 16 percent funded — with less than $441 million received of the $2.7 billion required.

Sudan has been ravaged by war since April 2023, when fighting broke out between the main army, led by military chief Abdel Fattah al Burhan, and RSF, commanded by Burhan’s former deputy Hamdan Daglo.

Since then, over 10 million people have fled their homes, according to the UN.

Over two million fled to neighbouring countries, mainly Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia and Central African Republic.

According to estimates, around 15,000 people have been killed in the war so far.

Many rounds of negotiations have been held — mostly mediated by Saudi Arabia and the US — but failed to yield any results or cessation of hostilities.

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