Published: 11:29, March 21, 2024 | Updated: 11:30, March 21, 2024
Sudan conflict: Chinese envoy urges Ramadan ceasefire
By Xinhua

People have collective Ramadan Iftar (the evening meal marking the end of the daily fast during the holy month) in Khartoum, Sudan, on March 17, 2024. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

UNITED NATIONS - A Chinese envoy on Wednesday called on both parties to the conflict in Sudan to secure a Ramadan ceasefire without delay.

"We call on both parties to the conflict to implement (Security) Council resolution 2724 by securing a Ramadan ceasefire without delay so as to minimize civilian casualties and prevent further spillover of the conflict to neighboring countries," Dai Bing, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, told the UN Security Council briefing on the food issue in Sudan.

Currently, the humanitarian repeal for Sudan is less than 5% funded with quite a few humanitarian agencies likely to see their funding drying up. 

Dai Bing, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN

The envoy said that the UN should step up coordination with the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and other regional organizations to synergize their good offices with a view to achieving an early and durable solution for peace.

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As the briefers have noted, amid the ongoing conflict in Sudan, the humanitarian situation in the country continues to worsen with 18 million people suffering from hunger and many parts of the country facing pronounced food insecurity, the ambassador said.

"China appreciates the work undertaken by UN humanitarian agencies and welcomes the Sudanese authorities opening multiple humanitarian border crossings and actively facilitating relief efforts," he said. "We call on all Sudanese parties to continue to guarantee rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access. It is worth noting that funding shortfalls remain the biggest challenge to the humanitarian relief work."

This photo taken on March 13, 2024 shows the Grand Market of Omdurman, Sudan. The Sudanese Armed Forces have recently restored control of the market, which had been controlled by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces since the war broke out in April 2023. The raging conflict has so far claimed more than 13,000 lives in Sudan, according to recent estimates by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

"Currently, the humanitarian repeal for Sudan is less than 5 percent funded with quite a few humanitarian agencies likely to see their funding drying up," the envoy said.

He stressed that the international community, traditional donors in particular, need to act responsibly by scaling up financial and food aid and do all they can to mitigate the impact of the conflict on people's lives and to avert an even greater humanitarian crisis.

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"It must be pointed out that humanitarian relief efforts should primarily aim to save lives and aid those in need. Humanitarian issues should not be politicized."

Dai underscored that in the recent past, certain countries have used humanitarian aid as a political tool to pressure and sanction and even gone so far as to directly interfere in internal affairs of Sudan and to steamroll democratic transition.

Displaced people receive food donations from the World Food Programme at Akuom Boma, Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, South Sudan, on Feb 28, 2024. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

"This is one of the major contributors to the prolonged turmoil in Sudan, which eventually plunged the country into a deep crisis. The tragedy unfolding in Sudan deserves in-depth reflection by the Council."

The ambassador noted that a ceasefire and return to order in Sudan is the fundamental way to alleviate the humanitarian situation.

READ MORE: Sudan's warring parties welcome UN call for Ramadan ceasefire

"Since the outbreak of the conflict in Sudan, China has through bilateral channels provided Sudan with multiple consignments of medical supplies and food aid, doing our part to ease the humanitarian crisis on the ground," he said.

China will continue to work with the international community and make unremitting efforts to end the conflict and bring about lasting peace in Sudan, he added.