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IGAD Executive Secretary Urges Immediate Cessation of Hostilities in El Fasher, Sudan

The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, has expressed deep concern over the intensifying conflict in El Fasher, Sudan. The situation, marked by violence and unrest, is exacerbating an already precarious humanitarian crisis and endangering the lives of innocent civilians.

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Dr. Workneh strongly condemned the recent attacks on critical healthcare facilities, including the Babiker Nahar Paediatric Hospital. He emphasized that such assaults not only disrupt the essential supply chain of medical provisions but also severely impede the treatment of the injured and the vulnerable, notably women, children, and displaced individuals.

IDPs in Sudan. Photo by Sudan Tribune

“The assault on healthcare infrastructure is deplorable and unacceptable,” stated Dr. Workneh. “It aggravates the suffering of those already in dire need and obstructs essential medical care during this critical time.”

In his statement, Dr. Workneh urgently called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and implored all parties involved to exercise restraint in line with established international norms. He highlighted the pressing need for unimpeded access for humanitarian aid to mitigate the suffering of the affected populations.

TOPSHOT – Fighters ride in a vehicle moving in a military convoy accompanying the governor of Sudan’s Darfur State during a stopover in the eastern city of Gedaref while on the way to Port Sudan on August 30, 2023. (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Dr. Workneh further urged the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government, along with international partners, to intensify their efforts in leveraging influence to compel the conflicting parties to lay down their arms. He emphasized the importance of returning to the negotiating table to work towards a sustainable peace in Sudan, reflecting the aspirations of the Sudanese people.

“The path to peace requires dialogue, compromise, and a steadfast commitment to the well-being of the Sudanese people,” Dr. Workneh remarked. “IGAD remains dedicated to supporting Sudan in achieving a peaceful resolution to this conflict.”

The conflict in Sudan, now ongoing for 13 months, has resulted in horrific death, destruction, and mass displacement affecting millions of Sudanese. Since April 15, 2023, the conflict has claimed 14,000 lives and left nearly 30,000 injured. Sudan is now grappling with the world’s largest internal displacement crisis, with over 6 million people displaced within the country and nearly 2 million having fled the country entirely according to CARE International. The situation is expected to worsen as fighting escalates in El Fasher, North Darfur.

Therefore, escalating conflict in El Fasher underscores the urgent need for concerted international efforts to address the crisis and support Sudan in its pursuit of lasting peace and stability. Dr. Workneh’s call to action reflects IGAD’s commitment to fostering peace and humanitarian support in the region.

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