New York, 20 April 2023 (TDI): The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will participate in a virtual meeting on the Sudan crisis to be held by the Arab League, African Union, and East Africa Bloc.

The the Secretary-General of Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit , the Chairperson of the African Union Moussa Faki and the the Executive Secretary of the East African bloc will take part in the virtual meeting.

The European High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy Josep Borrell Fontelles would also participate.

The meeting is part of continued engagement by the UN and regional organizations to negotiate a lasting 24- hour ceasefire between the Sudanese armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to provide some relief to the suffering civilians.

Previous ceasefires agreed on Tuesday and Wednesday didn’t last long as fighting resumed between the armed forces and the RSF.

The Trilateral Mechanism comprised of AU, UN and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) appealed to the warring sides on Wednesday to create  necessary conditions during the truce that allow the civilians to take shelter, food, and medical care.

Also Read: Switzerland, UNSC condemn clash in Sudan

Humanitarian Situation

As the crisis continues and ceasefires didn’t last the humanitarians warn that the people of Sudan are running out of vital supplies such as food and may need urgent medical care.

The World Health Organization reported that 16 hospitals across Sudan have been forced to close because of attacks and violence, 9 in Khartoum alone.

The East African Community bloc has expressed deep concern over the ongoing situation in Sudan. It called for an immediate ceasefire and added that the conflict would have ramifications for the whole of Africa.

The African Union has warned against any “external interference” in the conflict and called on the warring sides to  swiftly embrace a peaceful solution and inclusive dialogue”.

The Background

Sudan has been embroiled in a political crisis since  President Omar Al Bashir was ousted in 2019. The clashes between the armed forces of Sudan and the RSF are taking place when the country is transitioning towards democracy.

Sudan has a vital geostrategic location. Global powers such as the US, China, and Russia see Sudan as an area of geopolitical interest while regional powers such as UAE, Qatar, and Turkey have also sought to increase their influence in the country.