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The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 1213th meeting, held on 21 May 2024, considered the situation in the Darfur region of Western Sudan.

1.  Council recalled Communique [PSC/PR/COMM.1209 (2024)] adopted at its 1209th meeting held on 18 April 2024.

2. Council expressed grave concern over the situation currently unfolding around El Fasher, North Darfur, despite many calls for the warring parties to halt their fighting and return to negotiations, including the calls from the Chairperson of the AU Commission and the Chairperson of the High-Level Panel on Sudan.

3. Council reiterated the call of the Chairperson of the Commission for the parties to return to the local truce that spared El Fasher from the worst of the fighting for a year, and to lift the current siege on the city that led to more atrocities and difficulties for civilians as well as to return to an expanded negotiation platform in Jeddah without delay.

4. Council urged the warring parties to ensure humanitarian access to the population in need, in Darfur and elsewhere in Sudan.

5. Council expressed alarm at the imminent danger that the escalating conflict poses to civilians, including the increasing likelihood of grave atrocities, and called the parties for withdrawal from civilian buildings, institutions as well as government buildings and establishments.

6. Council requested the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to urgently investigate the human rights situation in El Fasher and other areas in Darfur and to report back to Council, including on recommendations to hold perpetrators accountable.

7. Council also requested the AU High Level Panel to work with the newly-appointed AU Special Envoy for the Prevention of Genocide, to develop proposals on how to address on-going atrocities and to prevent further escalation in Darfur, as well as to develop a plan for the protection of civilians.

8.  Council further reiterated its decision to undertake a field mission to Port Sudan to obtain first-hand information regarding the situation on the ground, and to express solidarity with the suffering people of Sudan.

9.  Council agreed to remain actively seized of the matter. 

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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