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Sudanese await help after second day of tense ceasefire

Sudanese Army soldiers on a brick-blocked road in Khartoum on May 20, 2023.

Fighting eased but did not stop in Sudan on Wednesday, the second full day after a ceasefire brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia. This has raised cautious hopes among the beleaguered civilians that relief corridors and escape routes will soon open.

Sporadic shelling still reverberates across the capital, but two foreign powers overseeing the week-long ceasefire said “fighting in Khartoum appears to be less intense” since it took effect late Monday. Stated.

But Washington and Riyadh expressed “concern” that the belligerents were trying to gain a military advantage to reach a ceasefire, pointing to reports that “demonstrate that both sides have violated the agreement.”

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Nevertheless, they stressed that preparations were underway to “provide life-saving assistance” to Sudanese citizens who have endured more than five weeks of fighting that have claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people.

The war erupted on April 15, sparking a frantic mass evacuation of thousands of foreigners and forcing more than one million Sudanese to flee their homes both within the country and across borders.

The battle involved military commander Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the de facto leader of Sudan, and former Vice President Mohamed Mohammed, nicknamed “Hemeti”, who commands the militia’s Rapid Support Force (RSF). Mr. Hamdan Dagro confronts.

The chaos has forced millions to hide in their homes to hide from fighters and roaming marauders amid scorching summer heat, power outages, and desperate shortages of food, medicine, and other essentials. is hiding

“The whole country has been taken hostage,” said Raduan Neuser, a UN human rights expert in Sudan. “People feel lonely and abandoned.”

~ “Trajectory of Collapse” ~

Hopes of speedy relief from fighting and suffering were dampened by the fact that all previous series of ceasefires were soon broken, with both sides exchanging responsibility for breaches.

US Secretary of State Antony Brinken warned that “if the ceasefire is violated we will know” and promised “to hold violators accountable through sanctions and other means at our disposal”.

Meanwhile, large-scale exodus of Sudanese to neighboring countries, including Chad, Egypt and South Sudan, continues, and there are regional concerns that cross-border ethnic ties could spread conflict beyond borders. is causing

The death toll is particularly high in western Darfur, where around 300,000 people were killed in the early 2000s when Sudan’s then-dictator Omar al-Bashir liberated the notorious Janjaweed militia.

Recent violence in Ergeneina, West Darfur, has “completely burned down” all 86 refugee reception centers, leaving 85,000 of them on the move again, a UN agency has reported.

Sudan expert Alex de Waal warned that a “trajectory of state collapse” now threatens to “turn the whole of Sudan, including Khartoum, into something similar to Darfur 10-15 years ago.”

Noting Dagro’s roots in the Janjaweed, he said, “this is the environment where Hemeti thrives, where money and guns decide everything. This is Sudan’s future.”

~“Somalia Scenario”~

Meanwhile, especially in Khartoum and Darfur, medical aid workers have warned of acute shortages as fighting has destroyed, looted and even used most hospitals as fire stations.

“After one of the medical warehouses in Khartoum was looted, refrigerators were unplugged and medicines were taken out,” said Jan-Nicolas Armstrong Dangelser of the aid group Doctors Without Borders. “The entire cold chain has been destroyed, so the medicine is corrupt and cannot be used to treat anyone.”

“We are experiencing a violation of humanitarian principles, and the playing field for humanitarian workers is shrinking on a scale rarely seen before,” he added.

Like many Sudanese citizens, Yasser Abdelaziz, a civil servant in the northern town of Shendi, said he feared a war worse than other Middle East conflicts and similar to the turmoil seen elsewhere in the Horn of Africa. .

“I fear that the future scenario will not be Syria, Libya or Yemen, but Somalia, where people are driven by racism and tribalism,” he said.


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https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/sudanese-still-await-relief-on-day-two-of-tense-ceasefire/news-story/26665d7b88d8fbac36b041250ebb0b3e Sudanese await help after second day of tense ceasefire

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