Hopes for a ceasefire in Sudan at the end of the Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan, were initially dashed. According to a reporter from the German Press Agency, explosions and rocket attacks continued to be heard in the capital Khartoum on Friday night.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the Arab League had previously called for using the holidays to call for a ceasefire. Since Saturday, the army has been fighting the once-allied paramilitary unit Rapid Support Forces (RSF) for power in the north-east African country. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the death toll rose to around 330, and 3,200 people have been injured so far.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) also called for a ceasefire on Twitter last night. In addition, the federal government is doing everything in its power to help German nationals in Sudan. The Bundeswehr had to abandon a first attempt to take German citizens out of the country on Wednesday for security reasons. According to information from the German Press Agency, a plan for the use of the Luftwaffe was stopped due to the uncertain situation in the embattled capital Khartoum.
The deputy chairman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Johann Wadephul, meanwhile criticized the government's information policy on a possible evacuation mission in Sudan. The Bundeswehr has proven that it can carry out such difficult operations, the CDU politician told the editorial network Germany (RND). "But it is important that the federal government seeks close contact with parliament in such a critical phase, including on questions of a possible mandate. The current information policy is unacceptable."
Blinking wants to mediate
The US government also called for an end to the violence in the country. According to his ministry, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held separate exchanges yesterday with de facto President Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who is also the commander-in-chief of the army, and RSF leader Mohammed Hamdan Daglo. During the talks, he asked both of them to sign a ceasefire.
The gold and oil-rich country with around 46 million inhabitants has been governed by a military transitional government since 2019, which was actually supposed to initiate a democratization process this month. Due to the recurring violence and numerous conflicts, almost 16 million people in the country were dependent on humanitarian aid even before the current fighting began, according to the UN.
The essentials are missing
According to the United Nations, thousands of Khartoum residents have been stuck in their homes for days, many of them without electricity or running water. Food, petrol and medicine ran out. According to a dpa reporter, only a few shops were open yesterday and the city's markets were closed. In addition, health care has all but collapsed, the Sudanese Medical Committee said. According to eyewitnesses, bodies lay on the streets of the capital. Welthungerhilfe warned of "a humanitarian tragedy".
The World Food Program (WFP) warned last night that millions more Sudanese could face hardship as a result of the current conflict. It has temporarily suspended its food and cash aid. The children's charity Unicef said the escalating violence was endangering millions of children. At least nine children were reportedly killed and more than 50 injured in the fighting.
Attacks on aid organizations and employees of international organizations had also increased in the past few days. Particularly in the Darfur region in the west of the country, non-governmental organizations reported that offices and warehouses were being looted. According to the WFP, around 4,000 tons of food have been stolen for starving people in South Darfur.