Air raids, gunfire and explosions rocked Khartoum again on Sunday after the announcement of a week-long ceasefire agreed to by the army and paramilitaries vying for power in Sudan, supposed to start Monday evening.
The American and Saudi mediators announced that they had obtained after two weeks of negotiations in Saudi Arabia a one-week truce starting Monday at 7:45 p.m. The two camps have announced in a press release that they want to respect this truce, which the UN, the African Union and the East African bloc, Igad, have welcomed. But in more than five weeks of war, a dozen ceasefires were promised and immediately violated.
A thousand dead
Since April 15, the war between the army of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (FSR), General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, has claimed a thousand lives in this East African country. ‘Is, one of the poorest in the world, and more than a million displaced people and refugees.
The infrastructure has been badly damaged: almost all the hospitals in Khartoum and Darfur are no longer working and most of the five million inhabitants of the capital, holed up in their homes for those who have not been able to flee, have not no more water or electricity.
Humanitarian corridors demanded
In a country with closed banks and supply convoys interrupted by air raids, artillery fire and heavy gun battles between apartment buildings in residential neighborhoods, food is becoming increasingly scarce and most agro-food factories have been destroyed or looted. Humanitarians are calling for safe corridors to deliver medicine, food and fuel, in order to revive services that have been crumbling for decades.
Again on Sunday, the head of UN humanitarian action, Martin Griffiths, pleaded for “the safe delivery of humanitarian aid” as more than 25 of the 45 million Sudanese need help.
“A ceasefire monitoring mechanism”
And if the war continues, warns the UN, a million more Sudanese could take refuge in neighboring countries, which fear a contagion. This time, assure Riyadh and Washington, there will be “a ceasefire monitoring mechanism” bringing together representatives of both sides as well as the United States and Saudi Arabia.
The two rival generals had together ousted civilians from power in Sudan in a putsch in October 2021. But on April 15, they went to war, and on Friday General Burhane replaced General Daglo as number two in military power. by Malik Agar, a former rebel who signed the peace agreement with Khartoum in 2020. He also appointed three of his followers to the top of the army.
UN envoy to Sudan in New York
Malik Agar said on Saturday that he wanted to “stop the war and sit down at the negotiating table”. But for him, these negotiations go through the integration of the FSR into the regular army, a bone of contention between the two generals which triggered the conflict.
Since the start of the war, the two generals have been inveighing against each other through the media, but have not spoken since this announcement. The UN envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes, left for New York on Saturday where he is to address the Security Council on Monday.