UN chief voices concern over assault on capital city of Sudan's North Darfur-Xinhua

UN chief voices concern over assault on capital city of Sudan's North Darfur

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-14 09:33:15

UNITED NATIONS, May 13 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is gravely concerned about the outbreak of fighting in El Fasher, the capital city of Sudan's North Darfur state, which puts over 800,000 civilians at risk, said his deputy spokesman on Monday.

Guterres is alarmed by reports of the use of heavy weaponry in densely populated areas, resulting in dozens of civilian casualties, significant displacement and the destruction of civilian infrastructure, said Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman, in a statement.

Renewed fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) erupted in El Fasher over the weekend. For weeks, the RSF has been mobilizing thousands of fighters on the outskirts of El Fasher in preparation for an attack, while the SAF and allied Darfuri armed groups strengthened their military presence in and around El Fasher.

Guterres recalls that civilians in the area were already facing a looming famine and the consequences of over a year of war. He reminds all parties of their obligation under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and calls on them to allow the civilian population to move to safer areas. He also requests that all parties facilitate safe, rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access to all civilians in need in El Fasher, across Darfur and Sudan, said Haq.

Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population and willfully impeding humanitarian relief for civilians in need may constitute war crimes, he said.

"The secretary-general urges the parties to immediately stop the fighting and resume cease-fire negotiations without further delay," said Haq.