UN Security Council urges ceasefire, humanitarian access in Sudan



The United Nations (UN) Security Council on Friday urged parties concerned in Sudan to immediately cease hostilities and facilitate humanitarian access.

In a press statement, the members of the Security Council emphasized "the need for the parties to immediately cease hostilities, facilitate humanitarian access and establish a permanent ceasefire arrangement and to resume the process towards reaching a lasting, inclusive and democratic political settlement in Sudan."

"The members of the Security Council strongly condemned all attacks on the civilian population, United Nations and associated personnel and humanitarian actors, as well as civilian objects, medical personnel and facilities, and the looting of humanitarian supplies," said the statement.

"They called upon all parties to ensure rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access throughout Sudan, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and in line with United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, including humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence," according to the statement.

The council members underlined the need for strengthened international coordination and continued collaboration. They reaffirmed their firm support to African leadership and noted the African Union Roadmap for the Resolution of the Conflict in Sudan.

The roadmap outlined six elements that include the establishment of a coordination mechanism to ensure all efforts by the regional and global actors are harmonized and impactful; an immediate, permanent, inclusive and comprehensive cessation of hostilities; and an effective humanitarian response.

The council members also welcomed the May 11 signature in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of the Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan (Jeddah Declaration) "in recognition of SAF and RSF responsibilities and commitments under international humanitarian law and international human rights law."

They called on the signatories to fulfill their responsibilities and commitments. The council members further welcomed the May 20 signature of a seven-day ceasefire, and emphasized the importance of the signatories of the Jeddah Declaration implementing these commitments in full.

On the same day, the UN Security Council also decided to extend the mandate of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) until December 3 of this year.

Unanimously adopting Resolution 2685, the 15-member organ requested the secretary-general to continue to report the implementation of the mandate every 90 days to the council and decided to remain actively seized of the matter.

The council members said the mission's presence is more important than ever to coordinate UN responses to the complex challenges facing Sudan.

Headquartered in Khartoum, UNITAMS was established on June 3, 2020, for an initial period of 12 months and extended twice, with an aim to support Sudan through a range of political, peacebuilding and development initiatives.