The delivery of humanitarian aid remained impossible on Wednesday in Sudan, where civilians are still waiting for the opening of secure corridors, on the second day of the truce between the army and the paramilitaries marked by new fighting.
On Wednesday, fighting continued in Khartoum, where columns of black smoke rose in various places, according to residents.
“Despite successive truces, civilians still live under the threat of being killed or injured,” lamented in Geneva the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk.
US and Saudi mediators said “fighting appears less intense in Khartoum” on Wednesday, but “information showing they violated” the truce that came into effect on Monday evening was presented to emissaries from the two belligerents.
The conflict which broke out on April 15 between the army of General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (FSR), of General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, left more than 1,800 dead, according to the NGO ACLED, more than a million displaced and more than 300,000 refugees, according to the UN.
The week-long ceasefire in Saudi Arabia is meant to create passages for civilians and humanitarian aid, which more than 25 of Sudan’s 45 million people need, according to the UN.
Looting and collapse
Despite the fighting, several Khartoum residents said on Wednesday they had been able to venture out of their homes. Mohammed Taher, 55, was able to go “to the big market in Khartoum”, five kilometers from his home, “to buy food and return without incident”.
Ali Mohammed has had no water since the start of the war: “She still hasn’t recovered, but at least I was able to go out and buy water for my family to drink”, she testifies. .
“I took my mother to a doctor because it had been 20 days since she had any medicine to treat herself,” another resident of the capital, Ihssan Dafaallah, told Agence France-Presse.
But humanitarian workers still cannot access hospitals, almost all of which are out of order, in Khartoum and Darfur, in western Sudan, the two areas most affected by the war. Those which have not been bombed have no more stocks or are occupied by belligerents.
“One of our hangars in Khartoum has been looted,” announced Jean-Nicolas Armstrong Dangelser, from Médecins sans frontières (MSF). The looters “unplugged the refrigerators and took out the medicines: once the cold chain was broken, these medicines would no longer be able to treat anyone”, he said.
The emissaries of the two camps continue to discuss and “preparations for humanitarian aid movements are underway”, assured Ryad and Washington despite everything.
“We were able to bring in emergency teams, but we are struggling to obtain travel permits or visas for reinforcements,” MSF said.
For researcher Alex de Waal, what is playing out today in this East African country, “is the collapse of the state that will transform all of Sudan into something akin to Darfur in ‘ten or fifteen years ago’.
The war that broke out in 2003 in this region left 300,000 dead and 2.5 million displaced.
“It is from this environment, where money and weapons decide everything, that General Daglo emerged” and with him his thousands of Janjawid militiamen accused of atrocities and now integrated into the FSR, notes Mr. de Waal.
Yasser Abdelaziz, a civil servant in Chendi, in the north of the country, fears “that the future scenario will not be Syria, Libya or Yemen”, three countries torn apart by deadly wars over the past decade, “but the Somali scenario with people tempted by racism and tribalism”.
The neighboring countries, which host tens of thousands of refugees, fear a contagion, in particular because of transnational tribal ties, and demand to be included in the negotiations.
On the ground, thousands of families continue to flee Darfur to Chad or take the road to Egypt in the North. 300,000 Sudanese have left the country, according to the UN, while more than 800,000 others have taken refuge elsewhere in Sudan.
But the camps for the displaced, which already hosted 3.4 million people before the war, are full or have been destroyed by the fighting, recalls the UN.
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