Despite attempts to reach a peace, Sudanese groups continue to battle
Khartoum came under attack from airstrikes and artillery on Friday after the rival Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces failed to reach a truce after promising to protect people and enable aid to reach the region.
Notably, after nearly a week of negotiations, the two sides, who had previously shared authority before disagreeing over a move to civilian control, signed a “declaration of principles” in Saudi Arabia late on Thursday.
Moreover, RSF advisor Moussa Khadam said in an interview with Sky News Arabia that the organization intended to achieve a total cease-fire and would adhere by the agreed-upon rules. Violence didn’t stop, either, and the army hasn’t spoken out about the deal.
Since savagely clashing on April 15, the opposing military groups have given no indication that they are prepared to put a stop to the bloody combat that has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and threatens to plunge Sudan into a full-blown civil war.
Furthermore, the UN said on Friday that 200,000 people have now fled into neighboring nations as a result of the violence paralyzing Sudan’s economy and strangling its trade.
Volker Perthes, the UN representative for Sudan, stated that he anticipated the resumption of ceasefire negotiations on Friday or Saturday and noted that whereas earlier ceasefires failed because both sides believed they could win, no side now feels that victory will come easily. His optimistic judgment stood in stark contrast to the dissatisfaction felt by many in the city.
Blasts were also audible in the nearby Bahri neighborhood. “We were expecting that the agreement would calm down the war, but we woke up to artillery fire and airstrikes,” said Mohamed Abdallah, 39, a resident of Khartoum.
However, after two weeks of relative peace, violence between local militias in western Darfur flared up again in the city of Geneina when one group assaulted another. The battle, which last month claimed 450 lives, shook homes with gunfire and artillery.
Locally negotiated ceasefires between the army and RSF appeared to hold in other areas of Darfur, where a conflict has simmered since 2003, killing 300,000 people and displacing 2.5 million.