Sudan’s struggling army agrees to allow aid but not ceasefire, US says


The warring parties in Sudan could not agree on a ceasefire, but signed a commitment to provide humanitarian aid and restore some services. Nearly four weeks of intense fighting left residents batteredtwo senior US administration officials said on Thursday.

The deal, brokered by diplomats from the United States and Saudi Arabia after six days conversation in jeddah, the negotiators missed the original goal of reaching a ceasefire. Instead it was cast as a “declaration of commitment to protect the citizens of Sudan”. The goals of the pact include providing humanitarian aid, restoring essential services, withdrawing fighters from hospitals and clinics, and allowing residents to safely bury the dead.

Sudan, a northeast African country with a population of 48 million people, has since seceded There was a dispute on 15 April Between the armies of two rival generals, General Abdel Fatah al-Burhanwho controls the Sudanese military, and Lieutenant General Mohammad HamdanWho leads the paramilitary Rapid Support Force.

The violence has plunged Sudan into an all-out humanitarian crisis, leaving millions of people without access to water, food, electricity or health care. Aid organizations have reported that their warehouses have been looted and their employees killed, causing many groups to suspend operations.

At least 600 people have been killed and more than 5,000 others injured in the conflict, according to the Sudanese Ministry of Health; The actual death toll is likely to be higher. more than 700,000 people have been internally displaced, and more than 160,000 fled to neighboring countries, many of which are already hosting large refugee populations and facing severe financial crunch,

A US State Department official, who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive talks, said the Americans would begin talks as soon as Friday on a ceasefire to implement a “declaration of commitment” announced on Thursday. is expected to happen. The official said the goal is to build on such early steps towards a permanent cessation of hostilities and an eventual restoration of Sudan’s civilian government – ​​an aspiration that has not led to Sudan being involved as two warring peoples anymore. Generals refused to share or hand over power to the citizens.

The official said the title of the accord was requested by the warring parties to show their commitment to protecting civilians, even as they perpetrate genocide in Sudan.

multiple ceasefires It has already been agreed upon by both the parties. None of them were respected, although some reduced the fighting for a while, allowing foreigners And about one million Sudanese citizens will flee.

After the first shots were fired in the capital Khartoum, fighting quickly spread across the country, particularly in the western Darfur region and last week, saw intense violence in the town of El-Obeid in south-central Sudan.

There has been fighting in cities like Khartoum in densely populated areas, with both sides deploying machine guns, bazookas, rockets and, in the case of the military, warplanes. officers with paramilitary forces took a defensive position According to residents, in neighborhoods and hospitals, the army retaliated by shelling them.

The top UN human rights body held an emergency session in Geneva on Thursday to draw attention to the killings, injuries and other abuses of civilians. The head of that body, Volker Turk, accused both sides of violations of humanitarian law.

As the fighting intensifies, hospitals, laboratories and medical staff, who are already working in critical conditions and without supplieshave come under rapid attack.

Both sides have repeatedly agreed to, and have broken, ceasefires negotiated by foreign officials. These include a 72-hour ceasefire Mediation Another week’s ceasefire by the United States in late April announced by South Sudan this month.

Abdi Latif Dahir Contributed reporting from Nairobi.

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