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The UK calls for urgent de-escalation in El Fasher: UK statement at the UN Security Council

I will make three points. First, the United Kingdom welcomes the adoption, by this Council, of resolution 2736 which sent a clear call for urgent de-escalation in El Fasher and demanded that the Rapid Support Forces halt their siege of El Fasher immediately. The situation in El Fasher is appalling. Civilians have been terrorised by systematic attacks including on hospitals, shocking sexual and gender-based violence, and aerial bombardments. A full-scale attack on the city would be catastrophic for the 1.5 million Sudanese civilians sheltering there. We call on all sides to commit to protecting civilians and to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Second, our briefers have just described the enormity of the humanitarian crisis in Sudan. Over two million people are currently at severe risk of famine. We condemn the deliberate obstructionism, aid diversion, and continued looting of aid convoys that prevents life-saving supplies reaching those most in need. The Sudanese people will move further toward famine if humanitarian assistance continues to be restricted. We note the much-needed recent progress on issuing visas and travel permits and we call on the Sudanese Armed Forces to immediately open the vital Adre border crossing. The United Kingdom further calls on the warring parties to facilitate rapid, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian workers across regions they control.Ā 

Third, we welcome the continued efforts of civilian peace initiatives. The future of Sudan belongs to Sudanese civilians. For peace to be achieved, the warring parties must accept there is no prospect of victory on the battlefield, only further suffering. We call on the warring parties to immediately return to negotiations in good faith and without preconditions.Ā 

President, in closing, the United Kingdom reaffirms its full backing to Personal EnvoyĀ  Lamamra and his work to coordinate regional mediation efforts to restore peace. The Security Council needs to continue to play its part in supporting those efforts. Thank you.

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