Sudan conflict: Trilateral Mechanism calls for adherence to humanitarian ceasefire

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes, addresses the opening of the Security Reform Workshop at the Friendship Hall in Khartoum on Sunday (Photo: SUNA)


The Trilateral Mechanism comprised of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), African Union (AU), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), have reiterated the importance of having a humanitarian pause in fighting, urging the leadership of both the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to adhere to it today, including ensuring that this decision is well communicated throughout their ranks. A humanitarian ceasefire was announced on Sunday afternoon, however this was only partially adhered to by both parties.

The Trilateral Mechanism emphasises that the pause would provide an opportunity to allow civilians trapped in conflict zones to access assistance and critical supplies, receive medical assistance or to safely get out. “Only the SAF and RSF have the power to ensure that the pause is maintained and can guarantee the protection of civilians, according to the statement from the Trilateral Mechanism”.

In a press briefing yesterday, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric, said that the UN has been forced to temporarily halt much of its programming due to the fighting, ponting out that 10 UN agencies and more than 80 NGOs have been running more than 250 programmes in the country.

‘The UN currently has no access into or out of Sudan …

Dujarric says that the UN currently has no access into or out of Sudan, crossfire at Khartoum airport also reportedly damaged a UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) aircraft, which he says “could seriously impact the UN’s ability to access remote parts of Sudan where needs are highest”.

The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, said he is horrified by the deaths of humanitarian workers, including three World Food Programme (WFP) staff members. He is also disturbed by reports of large-scale looting of aid and damage to humanitarian facilities.

The hostilities will only hamper our humanitarian response efforts – at a time when needs are at an all-time high in Sudan.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan today noted that nearly one third of the population, or almost 16 million people – were in need of humanitarian aid at the start of this year, with some 3.7 million people displaced within the country. “It is crucial that the fighting stops so that we can resume efforts to help those in need.”

Press briefing by Volker Perthes, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan and Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan.