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UN chief urges all nations to do everything possible to stop the ‘horrible’ war in Sudan

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The head of the United Nations on Thursday urged the international community to mobilize and do everything possible to stop the war in Sudan, saying “what is happening is horrible.”

Secretary-General António Guterres said there is no military solution to the conflict between forces supporting rival generals that began in mid-April 2023, stressing that continuing fighting “will not bring any solution, so we must stop this as soon as possible.” possible”.

Guterres told a U.N. news conference that it is time for the warring rivals – Sudan’s military, General Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo – to start fighting. talk about ending the conflict, which has killed at least 12,000 people and forced more than 7 million to flee their homes.

The UN is working with the IGAD regional group, the African Union and the Arab League, and Guterres expressed hope to meet with them at the next AU summit on February 17-18 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, “to see how “We can converge our efforts to bring these two generals to the table” and achieve a ceasefire and create conditions to bring humanitarian aid to Sudan for people in “desperate conditions.”

U.N. humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said at a news conference in Geneva on Wednesday that rival generals assured him very recently that they would attend a meeting in Switzerland to discuss humanitarian issues and Sudan’s beleaguered civilians. “I’m still waiting to see when that happens,” Griffiths said.

Sudan descended into chaos last April with street battles between the generals’ rival forces in the capital, Khartoum, spreading to other areas. Western Darfur, which was devastated by bloodshed and atrocities in 2003, has been an epicenter of the current conflict, a scene of ethnic violence where paramilitary troops and allied Arab militias have been attacking African ethnic groups.

In 2005, the Security Council referred the situation in Darfur to the International Criminal Court, which, under the Rome Statute, is tasked with investigating and prosecuting the world’s worst atrocities (war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide) and the crime of aggression.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan told the council in late January that it was “quite surprising” when visiting different refugee camps in Chad, which borders Darfur, that people who lived through the Darfur conflict since 2003 spontaneously told him that what is happening today “is the worst.” ever.”

“Based on the work of my office, my clear conclusion, my clear assessment, is that there is reason to believe that Rome Statute crimes are currently being committed in Darfur by both the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces. their affiliated groups,” Khan said.

Secretary-General Guterres urged support for the ICC, saying its role in prosecuting those involved in “atrocities” in Darfur “is absolutely essential.”

Humanitarian chief Griffith and UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi called for $4.1 billion in international support for besieged civilians in Sudan, amid signs that some could be starving after nearly a year of war.

The agencies said that half of Sudan’s population, or about 25 million people, need support and protection, and that the funds requested would go to helping millions of civilians in Sudan and others who have fled abroad.

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