Another ceasefire in Sudan turned out to be an empty promise. Fighting continues in the country, mainly concentrated in the capital, Khartoum. The United Nations warns that the humanitarian situation in Sudan is approaching a critical point. “The scale and pace of developments in Sudan are unprecedented,” said UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths.
The government and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) fighting for power in the country agreed to extend the truce for another three days, from midnight Sunday to Monday. This is another ceasefire that was broken right after it was concluded.
In Khartoum, the army is fighting RSF units entrenched in residential areas. The more mobile rebels have spread across the city and government forces are trying to fight them using drones and warplanes, Reuters reported. Monday in the capital Sudan shots, explosions and air strikes are heard again, the AFP agency adds.
Everyday life in the shadow of fights
The inhabitants of Khartoum, despite the unrest in the capital, did not stop working. They try to live normally.
“I have to keep working, especially with what’s going on. Everything is more expensive now,” Abdelbagi, a barber from Khartoum, told Reuters. “I show up at work for two or three hours, then I close because it’s getting dangerous,” he added.
Viktoria, who earns extra money selling tea on the street, told Reuters that she had to work to support her family. – So I’m risking my life. God willing, I can get some food for the children. Just sitting idle won’t help, neither will fear, the woman said in an interview with the agency.
The UN warns of a tragic humanitarian crisis
The violence has paralyzed the country’s capital and risks a renewed war in Darfur’s vast western region, marked by two decades of conflict despite repeated promises of a ceasefire.
– The scale and pace of developments in Sudan are unprecedented. We are very concerned about the immediate but also long-term impact [konfliktu – przyp. red.] on the people of Sudan and the entire region, the Undersecretary General warned on Sunday UN Humanitarian Affairs Officer Martin Griffiths, who is traveling to Sudan to explore relief opportunities on the ground. He added that most of the warehouses and humanitarian aid stations on the site had been looted.
At least 528 people have been killed and 4,599 injured in fighting since mid-April, according to a statement from Sudan’s health ministry quoted by Reuters on Monday. The UN gives a similar number of victims, but points out that the real number is much higher.
Since the beginning of the conflict, 270,000 people have fled Sudan and 75,000 have become internally displaced, according to UN estimates. Many countries around the world are evacuating their citizens. Khartoum lacks water, food and electricity, adds AFP. The conflict is exacerbated by a humanitarian crisis in a country where a third of the population was dependent on some form of outside aid before the fighting broke out, Griffiths said.
Main photo source: Omer Erdem / Abaca / PAP