UN Security Council adopts resolution demanding Sudan paramilitary protect civilians and lift siege of El Fasher News
RomanDeckert, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
UN Security Council adopts resolution demanding Sudan paramilitary protect civilians and lift siege of El Fasher

The UN Security Council on Friday adopted a UK-backed resolution on the situation in Sudan, demanding that Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces halt its siege of El Fasher, the only capital in the vast western region of Darfur that it doesn’t control. This comes as the UN Secretary-General delivered reports on Sudan and South Sudan before the Security Council.

Resolution 2736 was adopted almost unanimously with fourteen votes in favor, no votes against, and one abstention (Russia). The resolution demands that all parties to the conflict do all they can to protect civilians and allow civilians to leave El Fasher for safer areas. It further calls for the Sudanese authorities to reopen the Adre border crossing for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and for all parties to work with UN agencies and humanitarian actors to ensure that aid reaches those in need.

The UK Ambassador Dame Barbara Woodward said following the resolution’s adoption:

The adoption of this resolution sends a clear message: the Council demands that the Rapid Support Forces immediately stop the siege of El Fasher and that all sides step back from the brink. An attack on the city would be catastrophic for the 1.5 million Sudanese civilians sheltering in the city.

Human Rights Watch added, “Today’s resolution puts the Sudanese Armed Forces & Rapid Support Forces on notice that the world is watching. It warns of imminent famine, especially in Darfur, & calls for accountability for violations of int’l humanitarian & human rights law, incl. sexual violence.”

The World Food Programme (WFP) reported Thursday that Sudan is experiencing unprecedented levels of hunger and violence, with the nation’s conflict on the verge of becoming the world’s largest hunger crisis due to increased attacks by paramilitary groups. Doctors Without Borders warned at the end of last month that a “humanitarian catastrophe” is unfolding in the country, and the International Criminal Court announced Tuesday that it is looking for evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur region.