Sudan: UN Security Council demands end to Darfur city siege

World Friday 14/June/2024 07:36 AM
By: DW
Sudan: UN Security Council demands end to Darfur city siege

El Fasher: The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution on Thursday calling on Sudan's paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to halt the siege of El Fasher, a city of 1.8 million people in the country's North Darfur region, and immediately end violence there.

The British-drafted resolution was approved by a vote of 14-0 with Russia abstaining.

It expressed "grave concern" at the spreading violence and credible reports that RSF troops are
carrying out "ethnically motivated violence" in El Fasher, the last big city in the vast, western Darfur region not under RSF control.

Sudan plunged into a crisis last year after fighting erupted between the Sudanese army, headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the RSF, led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

The conflict has so far claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions.

The UN has said nearly 25 million people, half of Sudan's population, need aid and some 8 million have fled their homes.

The US says the warring parties have committed war crimes and the RSF and allied militias have also committed crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

The UN resolution also demanded that all parties to the conflict ensure the protection of civilians.

Aid group Doctors Without Border said over the weekend that El Fasher's main hospital had been attacked by the RSF and put out service.

"An attack on the city would be catastrophic," Britain's UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward told the council. "This council has sent a strong signal to the parties to the conflict today. This brutal and unjust conflict needs to end."

The US Ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said it was a "precarious moment."

"The people of El Fasher are trapped. They're surrounded by heavily-armed RSF. Food, water, medicine and other essentials are drying up," she said. "Famine is setting in and the threat of further violence, including a large scale massacre, looms large."

Some 130,000 residents have fled the city due to fighting in April and May, according to the UN.