Arab ministerial group calls for immediate, sustainable ceasefire in Sudan

Sami Hegazi
5 Min Read

The Arab ministerial group on the situation in Sudan held its first meeting on Tuesday in Jeddah on the sidelines of the meeting of the Council of Arab Foreign Ministers.

The Group is engaged in reaching out to the Sudanese and international parties to work to address the causes of the crisis and to seek a full and sustainable ceasefire.

The meeting in which the Foreign Ministers of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and the Secretary-General of the Arab League participated, stressed the importance of reaching an immediate and sustainable ceasefire to preserve the capabilities of the brotherly people of Sudan and its national institutions, said Ahmed Abu Zeid, Egypt’s  Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson.

The meeting stressed the importance of dealing with the Sudanese crisis as an internal matter and the centrality of the role of neighbouring countries and the Arab ministerial group in addressing the crisis.

The group also warned against interference in Sudanese affairs and expressed support for the Jeddah Humanitarian Declaration on the protection of civilians, facilitation of humanitarian work and meeting urgent humanitarian needs.

The members of the Arab ministerial group praised the efforts of a number of Arab countries, including Egypt, in alleviating the suffering of the brotherly Sudanese people.

They stressed that the group will continue its efforts with all Sudanese parties, and coordinate with regional and international groupings and partners to reach solutions to the crisis, while calling on the international community to provide urgent humanitarian and medical support to the Sudanese people.

The Sudanese people are facing death and displacement from a conflict they did not cause, said Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

Speaking at the opening of the preparatory meeting of Arab foreign ministers for the Arab summit in Jeddah on Wednesday, he said that the armed conflict in Sudan has bloodied the hearts of Arabs, calling for using the opportunity of the Jeddah summit to reduce armed manifestations and achieve calm.

He said Arabs will not leave their brothers in Sudan alone, as the matter is being pursued and the necessary support provided.

In the same context, Assistant Secretary General of the Arab League Ambassador Hossam Zaki said that the agenda of the 32nd Arab Summit, to be held Friday under the presidency of Saudi Arabia in Jeddah, will discuss a number of important Arab issues, foremost of which are the Palestinian issue, the Sudanese crisis and the developments in the situation in Syria.

In a statement to reporters, Ambassador Zaki said that the crisis in Sudan and its continuation is affecting the stability of an important member state in the Arab organization, and its impact is spreading outside Sudan, noting the Saudi-US initiative that reached a humanitarian truce and expressing hope for reaching a continuous ceasefire.

The UN has predicted that one million refugees will flee Sudan this year due to the ongoing conflict between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Force (RSF) since mid-April.

Ramesh Raja Singham, director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva, said at a press conference Wednesday that the situation in Sudan is rapidly becoming a “regional crisis,” noting that the amount of aid Sudan needs in the humanitarian field and for refugees is estimated at more than $3bn.

“We expect that the number of people fleeing Sudan will reach one million this year,” he said, noting that an additional $470.4m is needed for refugees who have fled the country.

Some 25 million people, representing more than half of Sudan’s population, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, he said.

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