Sudan (AFP) – The Sudanese army withdrew from Wednesday’s ceasefire negotiations, accusing its adversaries in the paramilitary sector of breaking their promises.
Although both sides have broken the cease-fire several times, the mediators of the negotiations in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on the Red Sea have so far refrained from enacting any penalties in an effort to keep the warring parties at the bargaining table.
The army withdrew “because the rebels have never implemented a single one of the provisions of a short-term ceasefire which required their withdrawal from hospitals and residential buildings,” a Sudanese government official said, speaking under the condition of anonymity.
According to the source, the army said that the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) had also “repeatedly violated the truce”.
Late on Monday, US and Saudi mediators announced that the warring sides had agreed to prolong a humanitarian ceasefire by five days after repeatedly breaking it the week before.
While acknowledging that the ceasefire had been “inadequately observed,” the mediators said that the prolongation “will permit further humanitarian efforts.”
However, despite the promises made by both parties, violence broke out once again on Tuesday in both greater Khartoum and the volatile western province of Darfur.
During a visit to the soldiers in the capital, army head Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said, “The army is ready to fight until victory.”
The RSF, under the leadership of Burhan’s former deputy and adversary Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, said they would “exercise their right to defend themselves” and charged the army of breaking the cease-fire.
fear of failure
According to Sudan expert Aly Verjee, the mediators were anxious to prevent a total collapse of the negotiations because they feared a significant escalation on the ground.
According to Verjee, a researcher at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg, “The mediators know that the situation is bad but they do not want to state that a ceasefire is gone out of fear that the situation would then become even worse.”
The idea is to maintain the lines of communication open in order to increase the likelihood that future agreements will be more honoured.
According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, at over 1,800 people have died since violence broke out between the opposing security forces on April 15.
According to the UN, over a million people have been internally displaced, and close to 350,000 have fled to other countries, including over 170,000 who went to Egypt.
According to the UN, 25 million people, or more than half the population, are now in need of assistance and safety.
Three quarters of hospitals in conflict zones are inoperable, and whole areas of Khartoum no longer have access to running water or power.
In the metropolis of more than five million people, of whom roughly 700,000 have left, many families have continued to hide out in their houses, rationing water and power while frantically attempting to dodge errant gunfire.
According to Toby Harward of the UN refugee agency, ongoing violence in Darfur, on Sudan’s western border with Chad, “blatantly disregards ceasefire commitments.”
According to the UN, the ongoing war has made it difficult to provide the relief and safety that a record 25 million people, or more than half the population, require.
It claims that it has only received 13% of the $2.6 billion it needs, despite the growing requirements.
Since few weeks ago, the UN has issued warnings that violence in Darfur’s main towns has attracted ex-rebel and militia fighters who were enlisted based on their ethnicity during the region’s disastrous conflict in the middle of the 2000s.
Former rebel commander and pro-army governor of Darfur, Mini Minawi, has encouraged people to “take up arms” to protect their property.
The major civilian coalition overthrown from power by Burhan and Daglo in a coup in 2021 before the two brothers fell out forewarned that Sudan may devolve into “total civil war.”