On the eve of the end of Ramadan, fighting continues in Sudan for a sixth day in a row with no end in sight. It’s a catastrophe, analysts tell VOA, as parties failed to observe mutually agreed ceasefires and continued to ignore calls from around the world for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
It’s been six days and fighting in Sudan rages on, with no end in sight. None of the recently declared ceasefires have worked so far.
After multiple tries this week due to lack of electricity, we were able to reach Hamad Haj, a former professor at the University of Khartoum who spoke to us the day after the first 24-hour ceasefire expired.
He told VOA that despite the attempts at ceasefires, “the last few days were really miserable.”
He said sporadic fighting is still going on including at the national palace, the military headquarters, and the airport.
Haj told VOA that stray bullets had killed two of his neighbors in the northern part of Omdurman, about 8 kilometers away from the military base of Wadi Saidna.
“We had to withdraw from that area, and we came to our family house in Saura,” Haj said. “Since that time, we are safe as a family. We still require some water and food rations. But since yesterday local vendors and sellers were starting to move around within the area,” said Haj.
The fighting that started last weekend between the Sudan Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces has killed hundreds, injured thousands and has left many trapped and unable to access basic healthcare, not just in the capital, Khartoum, but in other places as well, Doctors Without Borders told VOA.
Kenyan President Samuel Ruto broke his silence and addressed the nation on Wednesday evening saying his country was concerned.
“Kenya is deeply alarmed that a misunderstanding over a single item in the political framework agreement, mainly the timeframe for the integration of the Rapid Support Forces into the Sudan Armed Forces, has degenerated into violent conflict,” he said.
Ruto implored the leadership of both fighting parties to ensure full compliance with the resolution of the Intergovernmental Authority for Development, or IGAD, Heads of State emergency summit held last Sunday which included an immediate cessation of hostilities.
“…Allowing unrestricted humanitarian access and extending full cooperation to the IGAD heads of state mission when it visits Khartoum,” he said.
Ruto and two other leaders from the IGAD bloc (Salva Kirr & Omar Guelleh) are slated to visit Khartoum to mediate the crisis.
Seif Magango, spokesperson for U.N.’s office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, told VOA it’s a tragic situation.
“It’s really a very difficult situation, people are still trapped in their homes and unable to find food, water, and medical supplies. It’s difficult to move personnel and humanitarian workers around,” said Magango.
He also said the fighting should cease immediately.
“That’s what the High Commissioner for Human Rights is urging both sides to really think about the people of Sudan. Stop the bloodshed, the talks were progressing, and they were promising and there was hope there would be a political agreement in no time. So bottom line is, you are fighting, during the fighting itself, respect international humanitarian law, protect civilians and ensure there is no attacks on humanitarian workers.”
In a statement on Thursday, the World Health Organization condemned all loss of lives, especially attacks on civilians and health care workers. The WHO estimates that over 330 people have died so far and 3,200 are injured.