Violent battles broke out between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Friday in Darfur, according to eyewitnesses told AFP on the fourth day of the US-Saudi mediated truce, which has not been fully adhered to since its inception.
The city of El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, witnessed “battles with all kinds of weapons,” according to residents.
The war that broke out on April 15 between the army led by Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Forces led by Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, nicknamed “Hamidti”, resulted in the deaths of more than 1,800 people, according to the non-governmental organization “Aclide”.
It also forced more than a million Sudanese to flee within the country ranked among the poorest in the world, while at least 300,000 others sought refuge in neighboring countries, which are also experiencing crises, according to United Nations data.
Not securing any humanitarian corridor
More than half of Sudan’s population – 25 million out of a total of 45 million – are now in need of vital humanitarian aid, according to the organization.
US and Saudi mediators negotiated for two weeks with both sides of the conflict before agreeing to a week-long “short-term ceasefire” that took effect on Monday evening.
The agreement provides for allowing the delivery of humanitarian aid, which has been impossible so far, with no humanitarian corridor being secured, which prevents civilians from leaving the areas of clashes.
The army and Rapid Support exchange accusations of violating the armistice, and the US State Department said Thursday evening that it is still recording “violations” of the ceasefire, especially in Khartoum and Darfur.
In this context, Washington pledged to “impose sanctions” on violators of the armistice, and the agreement also provides for a “monitoring mechanism” for the ceasefire, but so far no declaration has been made against this or that side.
The situation is critical, especially in the border region of Darfur with Chad, which was already devastated by a bloody war in the first decade of the twenty-first century.