The United States and Saudi Arabia both urge for peace as a fiery conflict continues to rage in Sudan. Their call to extend the present ceasefire, barely more than a delicate pause in the ongoing strife, resonates amid sporadic skirmishes that persist despite the truce. Orchestrated by both nations, this ceasefire is a beacon of hope in an otherwise bleak scenario.
Dating back to mid-April, this strife is an arm wrestle between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo are stalwarts leading this charge. Both military entities played critical roles in the 2021 coup, unseating the Western-supported government helmed by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Sudan reels under the repercussions of this violent turmoil, with casualties climbing into the hundreds, injuries scaling thousands, and displacing nearly 1.4 million people. The crisis doesn’t stop at Sudan’s borders, with approximately 350,000 individuals seeking solace in neighboring countries such as Egypt and Chad.
A Flawed Ceasefire and Humanitarian Crisis
Despite the ceasefire’s flaws, it has provided a lifeline, enabling the delivery of critical humanitarian aid to the Sudanese populace. However, the military junta and the RSF are accused of violating the peace agreement. This has significantly obstructed humanitarian efforts and delayed the restoration of vital services. Evidence of truce violations is rampant, with the military initiating air attacks and the RSF commandeering civilian buildings and engaging in looting. The irony lies in the fact that both parties verbally commit to de-escalation to ease humanitarian aid and essential repairs, yet their actions imply a readiness for further conflict. Scattered clashes continue in areas including Khartoum, Omdurman, and al-Fasher, the provincial capital of North Darfur. Amid this chaos, distributing humanitarian aid is complex, reaching only a fraction of those in need.