from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) -THE international community is making frantic efforts to save the situation in Sudan amid the country reaching breaking point.
Sudan is to top the agenda this month as Switzerland assumes the presidency of the Security Council. The presidency will be for the entire month.
The troubled country is to feature when Switzerland convenes two signature events during its presidency, namely debate on “Futureproofing Trust for Sustaining Peace” under the “Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace” agenda and the annual open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.
Some African issues on the programme in May are the meeting on the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS), meeting on the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and renewal of the 2206 South Sudan sanctions regime and the mandate of the Panel of Experts assisting the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee.
This week, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Clementine Nkweta-Salami of Cameroon as his Deputy Special Representative for Sudan with the UNITAMS.
She will also serve as the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan after succeeding Khardiata Lo N’Diaye of Senegal.
Also this week, Martin Griffiths, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, raised alarm ahead of his visit to the region.
“Two weeks since clashes erupted in Khartoum and around Sudan, the humanitarian situation is reaching breaking point,” the envoy lamented.
Griffiths noted access to urgent health care, including for those injured in the violence, is severely constrained, raising the risk of preventable death.
“The toll on mental health, especially for children and young people, is unfathomable,” he said.
Massive looting of the offices and warehouses of humanitarian organizations has depleted aid supplies.
Tens of thousands of people have fled Sudan and are seeking safety in the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya and South Sudan.
Despite the announcement of consecutive 72-hour ceasefires and humanitarian pauses by Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) , clashes have continued largely unabated.
At least 450 people have been killed – including at least five humanitarian workers.
Over 3 700 people have been injured.
The deteriorating situation comes at a time when an estimated 15,8 million people in the country – a third of the population – are already in need of humanitarian aid, the highest figure in a decade.
– CAJ News