21 September 2023UN Affairs

Warning that the months-long conflict in Sudan could spill over in the region, Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan on Thursday called on the international community to consider designating the militias ravaging his country as terrorist groups “to protect the Sudanese people, the region and the world.”

In his speech to the annual general debate of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Al-Burhan, who is President of the Transitional Sovereign Council, said that the Sudanese people have been facing a devastating war since April 15 launched against them by the Rapid Support Forces.

Describing those paramilitary forces as rebels in alliance with “tribal, regional and international militias, and mercenaries from different parts of the world,” he said they had been committing horrendous crimes against Sudanese people.

Further, he said: “They attempted to obliterate the history of Sudanese people by destroying museums, court and civil registries. They had released terrorists and people wanted by international courts from prison.”

“They have killed, looted, raped, robbed and seized citizens’ homes and properties, and destroyed infrastructure and Government buildings.”

A ‘spark’ that could inflame the region​

“This war is now a threat to regional and international peace and security as those rebels have sought the support of mercenaries and terrorist groups from different countries and regions of the world,” Mr Al-Burhan said, adding: “This is like the spark of … a war that will spill over … and burn the entire region.”

“They have killed thousands and displaced millions,” he said, emphasizing that the Government has responded to all initiatives for peace extended by the regional bloc IGAD and others, such as the Jeddah meeting organized by the United States and Saudi Arabia, Türkiye and South Sudan. Yet the rebels have refused all initiatives and “continue to commit genocide.”

Mr. Al-Burhan thanked the Secretary-General and the United Nations and its agencies for their support and humanitarian aid. The Government has opened ports and airports and allowed convoys to bring assistance to people in need.

He called on all agencies to fill the gaps and meet the Sudanese people’s needs for food, medicine and shelter.

Committed to transition​

The President of the Transitional Sovereign Council stressed he is committed to a transfer of power to the Sudanese people through a peaceful and legitimate process. “A short period of transition during which the current security, humanitarian, and economic conditions and reconstruction are addressed,” would be followed by general elections.

On other matters he stated his commitment to support women, children and vulnerable segments of society, and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), pointing out that the freeze on international assistance has directly impacted the country’s ability to achieve the global goals. He again appealed to donors to address the humanitarian situation in Sudan.

Finally, Mr. Al-Burhan called on regional organizations to work in the interests of the African people, stressing that he would not allow some external parties to impose solutions to Sudanese problems according to their own interests.

Full statement in Arabic available here.