UN Security Council calls for immediate cessation of hostilities in Sudan during Ramadan News
Neptuul, CC By-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
UN Security Council calls for immediate cessation of hostilities in Sudan during Ramadan

The UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted a resolution on Friday, calling on all parties involved in the conflict in Sudan to immediately cease hostilities during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and negotiate for a sustainable resolution.

The ongoing internal armed conflict between the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group (RSF) and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) started in April 2023. The conflict arose over a political agreement between the two groups to transition the country from military rule to a civilian government.

Facing severe climate change-related weather events and the escalating conflict, the UN Refugee Agency has estimated that half of Sudan’s population—around 25 million people—require humanitarian assistance. The UN Refugee Agency also observed that nearly 8 million people have been displaced, including 6 million internally displaced persons and more than 1.5 million asylum seekers and refugees. Chad, Egypt, South Sudan, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic (CAR) were the main destinations of the fleeing population. The UN Refugee Agency also stated that refugees who fled from Sudan to South Sudan are mostly returning nationals who had been living in Sudan as refugees.

Relatedly, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported in February that the humanitarian crisis in Sudan includes widespread military attacks and sexual violence in densely populated civilian areas. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) stated Wednesday that the 11-month conflict risks triggering “the world’s worst hunger crisis.” The WFP stated that less than one in 20 people in Sudan can afford a full meal.

Apart from the resolution, the UNSC also renewed the mandate of the Sudan Sanctions Committee. The committee consists of a panel of experts on Sudan and is tasked with monitoring the implementation of sanctions, such as an arms embargo and asset freeze. The committee is also responsible for assessing progress toward reducing violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses. Russia abstained from endorsing both resolutions. China voted in favor of the resolution to call for an immediate cessation of hostilities but refused to endorse the mandate renewal for the committee.