UN adopts resolution for Sudan ceasefire before Ramadan

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The United Nations (UN) Security Council has voted unanimously to adopt a draft resolution calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Sudan, ahead of the Holy month of Ramadan, which begins on Sunday night.

The resolution calls for all parties to ensure the removal of any obstructions and enable unhindered humanitarian access, including cross-border and cross-line between the warring parties, the Sudan Armed Forces, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, while encouraging peace efforts towards a political solution to the almost one year old civil war.

The latest UN figures point to 8.3 million people who have been forcibly displaced since mid-April 2023, including 1.7 million who have fled to neighbouring countries.

Fourteen in favour and a single abstention from Russia, with the penholder in Sudan, the United Kingdom, welcoming the adoption.

UK Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador James Kariuki says, “With the adoption of this resolution, the Council has sent a strong and clear message to the Sudanese armed forces and rapid support forces to agree an immediate cessation of hostilities during the month of Ramadan. This follows the call of the Secretary-General and the African Union. We urge the Sudanese armed forces and rapid support forces to act on this united international call for peace and to silence the guns. We further urge dialogue.”

Russia questioned the intentions of the draft, pointing to what it views as the hypocrisy of western nations given the lack of a similar resolution on Gaza, but allowed the text to pass nonetheless.

Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva says, “We have no illusions as to the true intentions of Western countries. However, the double standards look particularly glaring given that those same countries are dragging out the adoption of a document on a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, where a genuine massacre is taking place and over the past five months more than 30,000 people have died. The US time and again uses its veto plays for time and demands that we wait for some results from its direct diplomacy on the ground. Nothing of the sort is proposed for Sudan, although now is precisely when there is an opportunity to establish mediation efforts. Do you really think that this hypocrisy is not visible to everyone?”

Twenty-five million people—or half the country—will need humanitarian aid in 2024; over 17 million are estimated to already suffer high levels of acute food insecurity—10 million more than the same period a year ago. 70 to 80% of health facilities in conflict areas are not functional, while the humanitarian response plan for 2024, totaling $2.7 billion, remains only 4% funded, further compounding the crisis.

Ambassador Robert A. Wood for the United States says, “Addressing the dire humanitarian needs of all Sudanese requires unhindered cross-line and cross-border access from multiple points of entry to the most devastated areas of Sudan, where action is urgently needed to ensure lifesaving aid reaches Sudan’s most vulnerable. Failure by SAF authorities to rescind prohibitions on cross-border aid will cause unnecessary death and suffering among the Sudanese people. Both the SAF and RSF must facilitate unhindered humanitarian access to avert catastrophe and must adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law. Preventing a famine and long term catastrophe will require both a cease fire and unhindered humanitarian access. We condemn in the strongest terms atrocities committed by both parties in Sudan.”

Algeria’s Ambassador, Amar Bendjama, delivered a statement on behalf of the three African members, including Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Guyana.

“Today marks an important milestone that will pave the way toward a peaceful and stable Sudan through the adoption by the Security Council of this very resolution calling for a ceasefire during the holy month of Ramadan. This decisive action reflects a collective commitment to promoting peace and stability in the country during this sacred and spiritually significant period.”

Current estimates point to close to 15000 people who have been killed in the conflict to date.