UN chief to attend virtual meeting on Sudan Thursday

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is scheduled to attend a virtual meeting on Sudan on Thursday, a UN spokesman said.

The meeting will bring together the chairperson of the African Union, the secretary-general of the Arab League, the executive secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and other relevant organizations, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for Guterres, told reporters on Wednesday.

Guterres spoke to President William Ruto of Kenya earlier Wednesday, and talked with the chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, the spokesman said, adding that the UN chief will continue to make phone calls in the day, in attempts to secure a 24-hour ceasefire between the fighting forces in Sudan.

Volker Perthes, the secretary-general’s special representative in Sudan, continues to engage with the parties, as well as key Sudanese leaders and member states, in trying to secure an immediate de-escalation of the fighting and working on the 24-hour ceasefire, Dujarric said.

He said that the continued heavy fighting in Sudan is having devastating consequences for Sudanese civilians as well as UN staff and other members of the international community.

“We reiterate to the parties to the conflict that they must respect international law,” the spokesman said. “They are obliged to protect civilians and ensure the safety and security of all United Nations and associated personnel, as well as their premises, our assets, and trapped civilians, must be able to receive assistance, access essential supplies and evacuate to safer zones as needed.”

Fighting between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) raged on for the fourth day. The conflict in Sudan has killed about 270 people and wounded more than 2,600 as of Tuesday, with gunfire and explosions still heard here across the city.

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