Statement by Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, at a UN Security Council Briefing on Sudan and South Sudan

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March 7, 2024

Mr. President,

I would like to thank the Secretary General for his briefing, and would like to insist on five points.

Firstly, France condemns all violence committed in Sudan, regardless of the perpetrators. A recent report by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the latest report by the Secretary-General denounced massive violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur, Khartoum and Kordofan. The panel of experts’ report of the Sanctions Committee and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court also reported on violations in Darfur. The perpetrators of these crimes must all be held accountable.

Secondly, external actors must stop fueling the conflict. In particular, France calls for the arms embargo on Darfur to be respected. Violation of these measures is grounds for being added on the list of individual sanctions under resolution 1591. The current conflict has expanded beyond Darfur to the entire territory. The necessary consequences must be drawn.

Thirdly, there is no military solution. The conflict has lasted for almost a year and has plunged Sudan into a humanitarian catastrophe. It threatens the unity of the country and the stability of the region, while at the same time distancing the prospect of a political solution. Only a cessation of hostilities and resumption of talks will allow for a settlement.

France supports the Secretary-General’s initiative for a ceasefire during the month of Ramadan, and we hope that the Security Council will quickly rally around the draft resolution presented by the United Kingdom.

France encourages the two parties to the conflict to agree without delay on the modalities on resumption of dialogue, and set aside the logic of preconditions and take measures against those who exacerbate tensions on both sides.

Fourthly, peace initiatives need to be better coordinated. Twenty years ago, the United Nations and the African Union put their full weight behind peace efforts, including through the deployment of missions to protect civilians. We must respond to the challenges of the current crisis by formalizing, working with the parties, a single framework to facilitate conflict resolution. In this respect, France supports the efforts of the Secretary-General’s personal envoy, Mr. Lamamra.

Fifthly, we need to respond to the humanitarian emergency. Together with the European Union and Germany, France will be organizing a humanitarian conference for Sudan and neighboring countries in Paris on April 15. The European Union committed 500 million euros in 2023, representing a third of the international response. France has contributed 55 million euros in humanitarian aid to Sudan and neighboring countries. The parties need to guarantee humanitarian access to all populations, including cross-border access and access across the front lines. By April 15 and beyond, we will be paying particular attention to compliance with the commitments made by the parties in Jeddah, and to the progress that can be achieved with the United Nations. France welcomes the initial commitments taken by the Sudanese authorities to improve humanitarian access.

Thank you.

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