Sudan’s warring factions are better off adhering to a tenuous ceasefire, despite reports of fierce fighting in Darfur.
Sudan’s warring factions are said to be better abiding by a tenuous ceasefire despite reports of fierce fighting between rival forces in the western Darfur region.
The army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) began a seven-day truce on Monday intended to allow access to aid and services after the fighting since mid-April has killed hundreds and created a humanitarian and refugee crisis.
Fighting broke out in the capital Khartoum on April 15 after disputes over plans for the RSF to be integrated into the army under an internationally-backed deal to transition Sudan to democracy after decades of conflict-ridden rule by former President Omar al-Bashir.
About 1.3 million people have fled their homes, either across borders or within the wider country. The health ministry says at least 730 people have been killed in the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project which puts that number at over 1,800.
Despite the reduction in fighting, there were still reports throughout the week of clashes, artillery fire and airstrikes. The ceasefire was violated just a few minutes after it took effect on Monday night.
“Although there have been observed the use of military aircraft and isolated shots in Khartoum, the situation has improved since May 24 when the ceasefire monitoring mechanism detected several violations of the agreement,” a statement said. in Saudi-US.
Saudi and US representatives “warned the parties against further violations and implored them to improve respect for the ceasefire on May 25, which they did”, the statement added.
As civilians, aid groups and mediators pleaded for an end to the fighting, Sudan’s defense ministry issued a call to arms.
In a statement on Friday, it called on “army pensioners … as well as all those capable of bearing arms” to go to their nearest military command unit and “arm themselves for protection themselves”, their families and their neighbors.
The week-long ceasefire is the latest in a series of agreements that have all been systematically violated, with the army and the RSF accusing each other of further violations this week.
The United States and Saudi Arabia, which brokered the latest deal, have reported “serious violations” since it took effect, most notably on Wednesday.
Washington has threatened sanctions for violations detected by its “monitoring mechanism,” but has yet to target either side.
A growing number of desperate civilians are waiting for a brief lull in the fighting to flee or for aid to flow in as the fighting leaves the capital – a city of five million – with supplies of food, water and electricity.
Conditions are particularly dire in Darfur, on Chad’s western border, a region already devastated by a brutal two-decade war that erupted in 2003. Fighting has erupted in several major cities in western Sudan in recent ohay days, according to activists, most recently. At night in el-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state.
Zalingei and el-Geneina had a loss of communication between the militia attacks.
Nyala residents said calm had returned after days of fighting, although water was still cut off.