I thank SRSG Perthes, Director Wosornu and Ambassador Agyeman for their briefings.
SRSG Perthes, let me express Albania’s profound appreciation for your work and your tireless efforts to help Sudan and its people in their quest for a future in peace, despite particularly challenging circumstances. Your briefing today reflects your continued professional engagement in Sudan and I thank you for the accurate report, and for calling a spade a spade. We thank you for your service.
Thank Mayada Adil for your sobering remarks. We are pleased you could be here. Even though hearing your account was painful, we commend you for giving voice to all Sudanese women, especially the victims of the senseless war and encourage you to continue your civic commitment to help overcome the tragic events your country is going through.
I will highlight three points:
First, the prolonged, intense and deadly conflict spanning six months between the rival forces has plunged Sudan into a catastrophic humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportions.
This totally avoidable conflict, a power struggle between ambitions on the top, is causing close to 30 victims a day, including civilians. It has increased ethnically based violence and fueled intercommunal clashes, and as we heard, risks degenerating into a full-scale civil war. In Darfur, racially motivated attacks on civilians, targeting non-Arab communities, have led to forced large-scale displacement.
The more this conflict goes on, the more it become clear that there can be no military solution. As a result, the country is bein destroyed and the civilian population continues to endure massive human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law.
Albania remains deeply concerned about reports on civilians being deprived of food supplies, water, and electricity and have fallen victim to theft, looting, and widespread sexual assault.
As Mayada highlighted, there have been numerous confirmed cases of rape, “sexual slavery,” torture, and religious and gender-based motivated violence.
Just prior to this meeting, 11 members of this Council, signatories of the shared commitment on WPS, issued a strong call for protection of civilians and for accountability for perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence in Sudan.
We regret and condemn the use of heavy artillery fire and aerial bombardments, destroying civilian infrastructures, including medical facilities in major cities, particularly in Khartoum.
Heavy armed clashes are preventing civilians from fleeing the conflict or using humanitarian corridors. Violence has spared no one, including UN staff members trying to provide humanitarian assistance.
Therefore, while we urge the warring parties and all armed militias to cease hostilities, we remind them of their obligations to protect civilians throughout the country, with particular focus on women and children.
We call on the Government of Sudan to expedite the visa applications for UN staff and partners assisting with humanitarian aid delivery. They are not going to vacations; they are rushing to go to assist the needy and save lives.
Second, violence in Sudan is having ripple effects throughout the region.
More than 200,000 refugees have returned back to South Sudan, and approximately 700,000 Sudanese have sought refuge in neighboring countries, particularly in Chad. We commend all bordering countries for their ongoing support in welcoming refugees.
As we heard from Ocha, the crisis has already generated a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions. Urgent need is required and urgent assistance must be provided.
We cannot fail the Sudanese people because their leaders have left them down.
Third, Albania remains committed to supporting coordinated regional and international efforts, and we commend the AU, IGAD, and the League of Arab States-led initiatives to reach an immediate ceasefire and bring the parties to talks on restoring a meaningful and inclusive political process. The only way to end this nightmare and get out of the quagmire.
I conclude by reaffirming our unwavering support for the UNITAMS, and we commend the mission’s tireless efforts during such an alarming crisis in Sudan.
We stand with the Sudanese people and their aspirations for peace and justice in their quest to reestablish a civilian-led government.
I thank you!