Pope calls for halt to war in Sudan 

A church next to a mosque in Port Sudan (Photo: social media)

Pope Francis, in his weekly address to the Vatican on Sunday, called on Sudan’s warring parties to stop the 10-month-long war that has displaced millions and is about to cause famine in the country.

“I once again ask the warring parties to stop this war, which causes so much harm to the people and the future of the country,” he said. “Let us pray that paths to peace are soon found to build the future of dear Sudan.”

In his speech, the Pope also called for peace in Mozambique, Ukraine, Palestine, and Israel.

“War is always a defeat,” he said.

As Dabanga reported on Friday, the Sudan war was missing on the agenda of this year’s AU summit. On 21 December last year, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution that created a framework to fund AU peace operations

Some diplomats have suggested using this framework to backstop a ceasefire monitoring force should Sudan’s belligerents stop fighting, though they acknowledge such a mission would be difficult to carry out, Crisis Group experts Daniel Forti and Liesl Louw-Vaudran stated in an analysis last week.

During a press conference on February 7, United Nations Relief Chief Martin Griffiths disclosed that the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) had agreed to meet, likely in Switzerland, to discuss the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Since the onset of the war, civilians have endured repeated violations, including unlawful detention, and oppressive measures against grassroots movements. Amidst the fighting, cities and villages across Sudan were repeatedly attacked by both sides, resulting in widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure, and the displacement of residents to areas with catastrophic humanitarian conditions, including severe shortages in food supplies and medical aid.