Welcome to the United Nations

One year after the outbreak of conflict, Sudan's warring parties continue to ignore calls to cease hostilities, tells USG DiCarlo

Under-Secretary-General Rosemary A. DiCarlo's

Remarks to the Security Council on Sudan

New York, 19 April 2024 


Madam President,   

Thank you for the opportunity to address the Council. It is crucial to keep the spotlight on the need to bring an immediate end to the war ravaging the Sudan and its people. 

The conflict started just over a year ago when an outbreak of fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces brutally interrupted the political transition.  

Since then, the Sudanese people have endured unbearable suffering. Both parties have failed to protect civilians. Over 14,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands wounded.   

My colleague from OCHA, Director Edem Worsornu, will expand on the humanitarian situation and needs, but I would like to cite just three appalling figures: half the country’s population - 25 million people - need lifesaving assistance, while more than 8.6 million people have been forced to flee their homes, including 1.8 million refugees.  

Allegations of atrocities abound. There are reports of widespread use of sexual violence as a weapon of war; of the recruitment of children by parties to the conflict; and of extensive use of torture and prolonged arbitrary detention by both parties.   

Thousands of homes, schools, hospitals, and other essential civilian infrastructure have been destroyed. The war has wrecked large swathes of the country’s productive sectors, crippling the economy. 

Meanwhile, many media outlets and civil society organizations have been closed, while hundreds of human rights defenders and journalists have been forced to seek refuge abroad.  

In short, this is a crisis of epic proportions. It is also wholly manmade.  

The warring parties have ignored repeated calls to cease their hostilities, including from this Council. Instead, they have stepped up preparations for further fighting, with both the SAF and the RSF continuing their campaigns to recruit civilians.  

The conflict started in Khartoum but has since engulfed large parts of the country. And it continues to spread.  

In Darfur, recent reports indicate a possible imminent RSF attack on El Fasher, raising the specter of a new front in the conflict.  

Already, clashes between the RSF and SAF-aligned members of the Joint Protection Forces have erupted in Mellit, a strategic town to the north of El Fasher.  

Fighting in El Fasher could unleash bloody intercommunal strife throughout Darfur. It would also further impede the delivery of humanitarian assistance in an area already on the brink of famine.  

Beyond Darfur, greater Khartoum continues to be the epicenter of fighting between the SAF and the RSF. Galvanized by recent gains, the SAF has intensified aerial raids in Khartoum, the Kordofan regions and parts of Darfur.  

Since April, clashes between the SAF and the RSF also escalated in and around Gezira.  

Madam President, 

All warring parties must uphold their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law and adhere to the Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan.   

I reiterate the Secretary-General’s call on all parties to exercise maximum restraint and avoid further bloodshed. 

But if the parties have been able to sustain their confrontation, it is in no small part thanks to the material support they receive from outside the Sudan. These external actors continue to flout the sanctions regime imposed by the Council to support a political settlement, thereby fueling the conflict. This is illegal, it is immoral and it must stop. 

At this critical moment, in addition to global support for aid, we need to redouble our efforts to achieve peace in the Sudan.  

Over the past four months, the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General, Mr. Ramtane Lamamra, has tirelessly engaged with a broad variety of national, regional, and international stakeholders to promote the coordination of mediation initiatives.  

Just yesterday, Mr. Lamamra briefed the African Union Peace and Security Council. Today, we look forward to hearing from the Chairperson of the African Union High Level Panel – Dr. Mohammad Chambas.   

The United Nations stands ready to redouble efforts with our multilateral partners – including the African Union, Intergovernmental Authority for Development, the League of Arab States and key Member States and partners –to help bring about a durable cessation of hostilities and an inclusive and effective international mediation.  

Madam President, 

The Jeddah platform provides a promising vehicle for dialogue between the warring parties to achieve an agreement on a ceasefire and related transitional security arrangements.    

We hope that it will be reconvened in the coming weeks.  

A renewed push for peace also means continuing our work on Sudan’s democratic transition – by supporting and empowering civilians — including women’s rights groups and young people. 

We salute the efforts of the African Union and the European Union to support Sudanese civilians in coordinating a common position on an inclusive political transition in the Sudan.  

And we congratulate France, Germany, and the European Union for hosting the recent Paris Conference on Sudan and welcome its outcomes, including the overwhelming support for humanitarian efforts. The Conference emphasised the need for unity of purpose and action among peace initiatives on the Sudan. 

To this end, the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy has proposed the convening of an inclusive meeting to develop a comprehensive mediation and peace-making strategy. 

Madam President, 

We must build on the momentum of the Paris conference to boost our efforts to help end the fighting and return the Sudan to a path towards inclusive democracy and recovery.  

This is a shared responsibility.  

We must spare no effort in supporting the Sudanese people in their aspirations for a peaceful and secure future. 

Thank you.