from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – AN envoy has urged Sudan’s warring parties to lay down their weapons as part of a global fight against coronavirus (COVID) pandemic.
“It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown, pull back from hostilities and focus together on saving lives,” said Gwi-Yeop Son, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan.
She reminded that in the conflict-affected areas, health services had 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 United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres appealed for global ceasefire while the world faced 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 health system in Sudan has been affected by years of under-investment and economic crisis.
Only a third of health facilities offer a complete basic package of care.
Health facilities are understaffed and under-equipped 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.
Conflict in Darfur began in 2003 when rebel groups began fighting the government, which they accused of oppressing Darfur’s non-Arab population.
– CAJ News