In a bid to alleviate the ongoing violence and humanitarian crisis in Sudan, the United States and Saudi Arabia have jointly urged the warring factions to extend the fragile ceasefire, set to expire on Monday. Weeks of intense fighting between the Sudanese army and the rival paramilitary force have led to a stalemate, with clashes persisting in the capital city of Khartoum and other parts of the country.
The truce, brokered by the US and Saudi Arabia, had aimed to provide a much-needed respite, but its effectiveness has been limited. Recognizing the urgent need for humanitarian aid to reach the Sudanese people, the two nations emphasized the importance of extending the ceasefire, despite its imperfections.
In a joint statement, the US and Saudi Arabia also called upon Sudan's military government and the rival Rapid Support Forces to engage in continued negotiations to achieve a comprehensive agreement on prolonging the ceasefire. The conflict, which erupted in mid-April after a coup that removed the Western-backed government, has ravaged Khartoum, Omdurman, and other areas, including the war-torn region of Darfur.
The protracted violence has exacted a devastating toll, resulting in hundreds of casualties and displacing over 1.3 million people within Sudan and to neighboring countries. Renewed clashes were reported in Omdurman and the provincial capital of North Darfur, further highlighting the urgency of a resolution.
The current impasse stems from the inability of either side to gain a decisive advantage after more than five weeks of hostilities. While the army initially targeted rival camps, the paramilitary forces sought shelter among densely populated areas, utilizing civilian properties as cover against airstrikes.
In a concerning development, Dr. Alaa Eldin Awad Nogoud, a prominent surgeon and pro-democracy activist, was detained by armed men at his residence in Omdurman. The Sudan Doctors' Syndicate condemned the arrest, stating that the perpetrators claimed to be military and intelligence personnel. The incident has raised alarms among medical and human rights groups, demanding the immediate release of Nogoud.
The US-Saudi statement comes on the heels of Sudanese military chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan's demand for the removal of the UN envoy to Sudan, Volker Perthes. Burhan's request follows accusations by Perthes that both sides have violated the laws of war by targeting civilian structures. The UN chief expressed shock at Burhan's letter, underscoring the importance of mediation efforts to resolve the conflict.
(With AP Inputs)