Fighting between soldiers and paramilitaries who are vying for power in Sudan raged Friday in Darfur, on the fourth day of a ceasefire now “better respected”, according to the American and Saudi mediators.
From the first minutes of this truce, after more than five weeks of war, more than 1,800 dead and more than a million displaced persons and refugees, residents told AFP of fighting, air raids and gunfire. artillery.
Probably the most violent day was Wednesday, when paramilitaries reported shooting down an army plane which, in response, said it had hit armor.
That day, there were “serious violations of the agreement” between the army led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhane and the paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of General Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, note Friday the Saudi and American mediators.
The ceasefire agreement provides for a “monitoring mechanism” and Washington has promised “sanctions”, but so far no announcement has been made against one side or the other.
Mediators say they ‘warned the parties against further violations’ and ‘urged them to better respect the truce [jeudi], which they did. But they nevertheless observed “single fire in Khartoum and overflights of fighter planes”.
In this context, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) announced that it had been able to begin a “distribution of anesthetics, antibiotics, medicines, dressings and infusions to treat hundreds of weapon-wounded” in ” seven hospitals in Khartoum”.
“Maintenance teams were also able to start work to restore telecommunications in Khartoum and elsewhere,” the mediators assured.
But these advances are minimal given the shortages: for more than 40 days, entire neighborhoods of Khartoum, the capital of more than five million inhabitants, have been deprived of water, electricity and communication networks.
As for the hospitals in Khartoum and Darfur (west), the two areas most affected by the war, they are almost all out of use. Those which have not been bombed have no more stocks or are occupied by belligerents.
On Friday, in al-Fasher, capital of North Darfur, there are “fights with all types of weapons”, according to testimonies from residents.
Another sign of escalation, the army loyal to General Burhane called on Friday in a press release “army pensioners […] as well as all those who are able to bear arms” to go to the nearest barracks and to “arm themselves to protect themselves” and to defend their families and their neighbours.
” Question of life or death “
The war that broke out on April 15 left more than 1,800 dead, according to the NGO ACLED. It has also forced more than a million people to move within this East African country, one of the poorest in the world, and at least 300,000 inhabitants have taken refuge in the countries neighbours, themselves in crisis, according to the UN.
More than 25 of the 45 million Sudanese now need humanitarian aid to survive, according to the UN.
But as the truce ends Monday evening, no humanitarian corridor could be secured, also blocking civilians who want to leave.
As a result, the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says it could be forced to suspend activities due to looted or soon-to-dry stocks. She needs new deliveries and new visas to bring in doctors after scores of Sudanese practitioners fled or were attacked.
And, adds the NGO Islamic relief, “we are in a race against time” because “aid must be brought before the rainy season in June”, generally synonymous with epidemics of malaria or other diseases born from stagnant waters.
For the ICRC too, “it’s a matter of life and death”.
“With only 20% of medical structures in Khartoum still operational, we are facing a real collapse of the health system at the very moment when the population needs it most,” recalls its boss in Sudan, Alfonso Verdu Perez.
“Hospitals also urgently need water and electricity, as well as minimum safety conditions for their patients and their teams,” he adds.
The army accused the RSF on Friday of looting a children’s hospital.
To see in video
Leave a Reply