Tirana, 23 May 2023 (TDI): Albania extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan (SRSG), Volker Perthes, and its team for their unwavering commitment and tireless efforts in Sudan, particularly during these challenging times.

Despite the perilous circumstances in Sudan, Albania commends its presence and appreciates the update provided on the evolving situation in Sudan.

Albania joins others in warmly welcoming the news of a temporary seven-day humanitarian ceasefire mediated by the US and Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

However, the country emphasizes that words must be followed by actions; continuing the conflict will only exacerbate divisions, fragment society, and escalate the risk of prolonged intercommunal clashes.

The current situation in Sudan deeply saddens Albania, as it compromises the significant progress that had been achieved before the conflict erupted.

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The risk of severe regional fragmentation is alarmingly high and requires the urgent attention of the international community.

Albania expresses grave concern about the scale of casualties, injuries, and displacements in Khartoum and Darfur. The alarming number of newly displaced people, with over 700,000 internally displaced and approximately 200,000 seeking refuge, is distressing.

Albania commends the neighboring countries of Sudan for their humanitarian response, keeping their borders open and providing shelter to the internally displaced.

Moreover, Albania recognizes that conflicts disproportionately affect gender-based communities. Before the crisis, around 8 million women and girls (57%) required humanitarian assistance.

The ongoing conflict has further exacerbated their challenges in accessing vital services and heightened their vulnerability to sexual violence.

Albania urges both conflicting parties to fulfill their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and infrastructure.

The country strongly condemns acts of violence targeting diplomats, UN employees, humanitarian organizations, and medical workers and the looting of their properties.

It is imperative to ensure the safe movement of civilians away from areas of ongoing hostilities and grant them access to essential resources such as food, water, and medical supplies.

In conclusion, Albania commends the diplomatic efforts made by the international community, regional actors, the trilateral mechanism (UN, AU, and IGAD), and the League of Arab States.

The country reiterates its strong support for The United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) and commends the mission’s work, led by the dedicated team under the leadership of Volker Perthes.