Security Council wants 90-day ceasefire

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Thando Mnkandhla

Windhoek - The United Nations Security Council has called on all parties in armed conflicts to observe a 90-day ceasefire to enable humanitarian agencies to assist vulnerable people in conflict zones.

Resolution 2532, drafted by Tunisia and France, was unanimously endorsed by the 15-member Security Council and came 111 days after the UN’s World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

The resolution echoes UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' call for a global ceasefire so that the world can focus on combatting the new coronavirus, which has claimed more than 500,000 lives.

However, the ceasefire will not apply to military operations against Islamic State-linked groups and others classified as terrorist organisations by the Security Council.

Terror groups have been taking advantage of the world’s preoccupation with COVID-19 to make daring raids, such as the one in the DRC last weekend that resulted in the death of a minister and parliamentarian along with nine other people.

UN members were urged to take all appropriate measures to protect humanitarian personnel.

The spokesperson of the UN Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric, told the media this week that, “The adoption of this resolution will send an important signal to conflict parties and may help change calculations on the ground.

“The Secretary-General continues to urge individual Member States to redouble their efforts for peace in the conflicts in which they have influence. He looks forward to working with all stakeholders to advance efforts towards concrete ceasefires and durable peace."

 

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