Sudan Conflict: UN Secretary-General Appeals for Three-Day Eid Ceasefire

The United Nations (UN) called, on Thursday, for a 3-day ceasefire in Sudan, following clashes between the army and paramilitaries of the two generals fighting for power ahead of Eid celebrations. Appeals for dialogue or even a short truce have failed to find an echo for six days, drowned out by air raids, explosions, and open fire.

General Burhane, Head of the Army, reacted for the first time Thursday, stating that there will be “no political discussions” with his rival Head of the Rapid Support Forces, Mohamed Hamdane Daglo, known as “Hemedti”, as the latter should either stop his “attempts to control the country,” or he will be “dealt with militarily.”

Following a meeting with the African Union (AU), the Arab League (AL), and other regional organizations, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, called for “a ceasefire to take place for at least a 3-day marking the Eid al-Fitr celebrations.” 

The Sudanese Army reported that Guterres had a telephone conversation with General Burhane, who was also contacted by the presidents of South Sudan and Turkey, the Prime Minister of neighboring Ethiopia, and the heads of the American, Saudi, and Qatari diplomatic corps. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the clashes, mainly in the capital and the western region of Darfur, have left “over 330 people dead and 3200 injured” so far. 

Residents of Khartoum expressed their willingness to stop the clashes in celebration of Eid, noting the unlikelihood of a ceasefire for this reason.  

Since the power struggle, which had been brewing for weeks between the two generals, turned into a pitched battle, civilians fled the country in large numbers.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that approximately 10.000 to 20.000 people, mostly women and children, have fled the conflict in Sudan to seek refuge in neighboring Chad.

Most humanitarians were forced to suspend their aid, which is crucial in a country where over one in three people suffer from hunger, following the deaths of three employees of the World Food Program (WFP) in Darfur during the outbreak of the conflict. 

In the midst of the general chaos, Egypt has managed, with the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) aid, to evacuate “177 Egyptian soldiers” stationed at an air base in the north.

On Thursday, the US announced that it would send military personnel to the region of Sudan to facilitate any possible evacuation of its embassy.