Statement on the situation in Sudan

Statement by Representative of Slovenia to the UN Security Council Ambassador Samuel Žbogar at the briefing on the Report of the Secretary-General on Sudan

Thank you very much Mr President.

I also want to thank Secretary General for his comprehensive and grim briefing. I also want to thank him for his continuous leadership on Sudan as well as on all other conflicts.  

Let me begin by expressing our sincere gratitude to all UNITAMS personnel for their dedicated service to the people of Sudan.

Nearly a year into the ongoing conflict in Sudan, civilians continue to bear the greatest burden. The cost of conflict is already immense.  The longer hostilities persist the more challenging recovery and reconciliation become.

Allow me to make three points:

First – both parties must silence their guns, commit to a ceasefire and return to an inclusive political process. We call for cessation of hostilities, laying down the arms, and genuine commitment to a peaceful resolution. All parties must prioritize dialogue over conflict. We strongly support the Secretary-General’s plea today for a ceasefire during Ramadan. We agree that the holiday represents an opportunity to – at least temporarily – silence the guns – and use the time to speed up mediation and political processes.

We commend endeavors undertaken by regional and international stakeholders. The urgency and scale of the conflict requires coordination of existing mediation mechanisms. All relevant actors, including civil society must be included. Women’s meaningful participation must be ensured in any negotiation about ceasefire and end of the conflict.

We welcome the appointment of Mr. Lamamra and we commend his efforts to help start the political process.  We appreciate his engagement with both parties to the conflict, African union, IGAD, the League of Arab states, regional leaders, neighboring countries as well as international partners. We express strong support for his efforts and for his work.

Second – all parties to the conflict must fully respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law. With thousands of civilians killed, millions displaced, looting and destruction of essential infrastructure, a catastrophic humanitarian crisis has emerged – this is the most real and tragic impact of this war.

The humanitarian crisis has reached alarming proportions as we just heard from our colleagues from Guyana and Switzerland with nearly half of the country’s population facing food insecurity and looming hunger catastrophe.

We remind both parties of the commitments they agreed to in the Jeddah Declaration to protect the civilians and enable humanitarian access and assistance as well as implement confidence-building measures. It is crucial to respect and implement this agreement.

Humanitarian operations must be guaranteed rapid, safe, and unimpeded access across borders and across conflict lines. We welcome the much needed step by Sudanese authorities to partially re-authorised cross-border delivery through several cross-border crossings and additional humanitarian flights for aid.

We extend deep appreciation to the UN country team and humanitarian actors who continue to perform critical work. We condemn the attacks on the humanitarian and medical workers, as well as targeting of their facilities. We call on all parties to the conflict to respect the international humanitarian law and to respect protection deriving from the international humanitarian law for the UN, humanitarian and medical workers.  

And let me here make one general conclusion on this point.

We are alarmed by increasing and unsanctioned violence against civilians, including sexual violence, attacks on civilian infrastructure and attacks on the UN, humanitarian and medical workers across all conflicts, and especially in Sudan and Gaza. This is a dangerous trend.

So we urge a clear and forceful call by the Security Council against the unravelling of respect for international humanitarian law and human rights law, 75 years in their existence.

Third – we condemn in the strongest terms all violence against civilians. We are appalled by the use of sexual and gender-based violence as a tactic of warfare.

Reports documenting human rights violations and abuses by all parties to the conflict, thousands dead and millions displaced are beyond disturbing. We strongly condemn the recruitment of children and other grave violations committed against children.

Particularly alarming are the ethnically targeted attacks in Darfur and the widespread sexual violence there. Violations must be investigated, accountability must be ensured. We reiterate the responsibility of all parties to the conflict to prevent and respond to the conflict-related sexual violence, including by issuing clear command orders prohibiting sexual violence.

Mr President,

We acknowledge the commendable efforts of the neighbouring countries, showing remarkable solidarity in welcoming refugees from Sudan and providing much needed assistance.

The bloodshed in Sudan must end. Slovenia remains steadfast in its commitment to provide support to alleviate the sufferings of the Sudanese people.

Slovenia wishes that the holy month of Ramadan brings the beginning of permanent peace for Sudan. We therefore appeal to all parties to the conflict to respect the fundamental value of human life. Welfare and safety of all Sudanese, from streets of Khartoum to the most remote villages, must be prioritized.

Thank you.

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