UNSC demands halt to siege of Sudan city of 1.8 mn people

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UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, has called on G7 leaders to prevent manmade famine on the eve of the G7 summit in Italy…reports Asian Lite News

The United Nations Security Council on Thursday demanded a halt to the siege of Al-Fashir — a city of 1.8 million people in Sudan’s North Dafur region — by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and an immediate end to fighting in the area.

The 15-member council adopted a British-drafted resolution that also calls for the withdrawal of all fighters that threaten the safety and security of civilians in Al-Fashir, the last big city in the vast, western Darfur region not under RSF control.

War erupted in Sudan in April last year between the Sudanese army (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), creating the world’s largest displacement crisis. Top UN officials have warned that the worsening violence around Al-Fashir threatens to “unleash bloody intercommunal strife throughout Darfur.”

Earlier, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, has called on G7 leaders to prevent manmade famine on the eve of the G7 summit in Italy.

“Famine in the 21st century is a preventable scourge. G7 leaders can and must wield their influence to help stop it. Waiting for an official declaration of famine before acting would be a death sentence for hundreds of thousands of people and a moral outrage,” said Griffiths on Wednesday in a statement.

Conflict is fueling hunger in too many corners of the world. But nowhere is the choice between inaction and oblivion so clear as in Gaza and Sudan, he added as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.

In Gaza, half of the population, or more than one million people, is expected to face death and starvation by mid-July; in Sudan, at least five million people are also teetering on the brink of starvation; in both Gaza and Sudan, intense fighting, unacceptable restrictions and meagre funding are preventing aid workers from delivering assistance necessary to prevent mass starvation, he said.

Griffiths asked G7 countries to immediately use their substantial political leverage and financial resources so that aid organisations can reach all people in need.

“But more than anything, the world must stop feeding the war machines that are starving the civilians of Gaza and Sudan. It is time instead to prioritise the diplomacy that will give people back their futures. And tomorrow, the G7 is at the helm,” he said.

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