OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 12:50 PM – Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Sudan’s two warring military factions, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), have agreed to a seven-day ceasefire, according to a statement released by the foreign ministry of South Sudan on Tuesday.
The two factions have also agreed that they would send representatives for peace talks as the nation edges closer towards a full civil war.
On Tuesday, South Sudan’s foreign ministry released a statement claiming that the mediation championed by its President Salva Kiir, had led both sides of the conflict to agree to extending the temporary halt of hostilities. Once the current ceasefire expires, a new extension from May 4th-11th is set to take place.
However, witnesses have reported that the current ceasefire has not been upheld due to the reported air strikes in the cities of Omdurman and Bahri. Both located on the opposite bank of the Nile river from the capital city of Khartoum on Tuesday.
Reports indicate that Sudanese army warplanes had been targeting RSF positions inside the capital region, while anti-aircraft guns could also be heard inside the city of Khartoum. The conflict had also spread to the western Dafur region of the country where the RSF had originally emerged from the tribal militias in the area.
The fighting in the country has now entered its third straight week, with multiple failed ceasefires. The fighting has also completely engulfed the city of Khartoum, one of Africa’s largest cities.
According to the United Nations, at least 528 people have been killed in the fighting along with around 4,600 injured, although officials believe those numbers to be much higher. Around 80,000 have also been forced to flee the country to nearby nations due to limited or no access to food and water as the fighting continues. The U.N. migration agency also stated that around 330,000 Sudanese have been displaced within the country’s borders due to the conflict.
U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffths said that the country’s humanitarian situation is “reaching a breaking point” due to the looting of humanitarian offices and warehouses which had depleted most of the supplies.
“We are exploring urgent ways to bring in and distribute additional supplies,” Griffiths said adding that urgent health care is “severely constrained, raising the risk of preventable deaths.”
U.N. special representative in Sudan, Volker Perthes said that international countries have been working with the two sides of the conflict to try and begin peace talks.
“There are no direct negotiations, there are preparations for talks,” he said.
However, Sudanese army leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has previously said that he would not sit to negotiate peace with the leader of the RSF, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who also said that he would not discuss peace talks until the army ceased all hostilities.
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