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Coronavirus: UN Humanitarian Coordinator calls for ceasefire across Sudan

March 29 - 2020 KHARTOUM
UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Gwi-Yeop Son (File photo OCHA)
UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Gwi-Yeop Son (File photo OCHA)

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan, Gwi-Yeop Son, has called for a ceasefire across Sudan as part of a global fight against coronavirus pandemic. “It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown, pull back from hostilities and focus together on saving lives,” Son said.

“Let’s not forget that in conflict-affected areas health services have been affected the worst. Therefore, it is crucial to create corridors for life-saving aid and open precious windows for diplomacy and ultimate peace,” Son added.

Last week, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres appealed for global ceasefire while the world faces a common enemy: Covid-19.

“I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives,” the UN Secretary-General said.

The UN Humanitarian Coordination (OCHA) points out that the health system in Sudan has been affected by years of under-investment and economic crisis. Only one third of health facilities offer a complete basic package of care. Health facilities are understaffed and underequipped to cope with large-scale outbreaks, and there are significant shortages of essential medicines, according to the Global Humanitarian Response Plan for Covid-19.

While armed conflict between the Government of Sudan and most of armed movements has reduced following unilateral cessations of hostilities over the recent years, there have been occasional flare-ups in parts of the Jebel Marra area in Darfur, the statement concludes.

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