Conflicts: Fighting continues in Sudan - ceasefire has failed for the time being

Hopes for a ceasefire in the heavy fighting in Sudan were initially unfulfilled on Tuesday evening.

Conflicts: Fighting continues in Sudan - ceasefire has failed for the time being

Hopes for a ceasefire in the heavy fighting in Sudan were initially unfulfilled on Tuesday evening. According to media reports and eyewitnesses on Twitter, explosions and shots could be heard continuously in the capital Khartoum even after representatives of both sides had planned to start a 24-hour ceasefire at 6:00 p.m. (local time/CET).

In Sudan, which has been politically unstable for years, the two most powerful generals and their units have been fighting for supremacy since Saturday. The two men have led the country of around 46 million people since a joint military coup in 2021. De facto President Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who is supreme commander of the army, is fighting his deputy Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, leader of the powerful RSF.

The paramilitary group RSF accused the Sudanese army of "violating the ceasefire agreed through international mediation" in a statement on Twitter at 6:14 p.m. on Tuesday. "In the first hours of the declared ceasefire" there were attacks on RSF forces, it said. Such information about the fighting could not be verified.

truce or not?

The Sudanese armed forces had previously made conflicting statements about a possible ceasefire with the rival Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The leader of the RSF, Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, had signaled readiness. A high-ranking general in the Sudanese armed forces promised support for a 24-hour ceasefire from Tuesday evening on the Arabic television channel Al-Arabiya.

On Tuesday morning, on the other hand, the spokesman for the armed forces initially announced on the army's Facebook page that they knew nothing about an "understanding with mediators and the international community". He accused the RSF of using the ceasefire as an excuse to "cover up the crushing defeat they are about to suffer within hours".

The G7 foreign ministers called for an end to the violence on Tuesday. "We call on all actors to return to negotiations and to take active steps to reduce tensions," says the final paper of the ministers' meeting in Karuizawa, Japan.

Agreed three-hour ceasefires had already failed on Sunday and Monday. Thousands of civilians are therefore trapped in their apartments and houses, often without electricity and without the possibility of getting food, water or medicine, said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk in Geneva.

Hundreds of people died

According to the UN, 270 people have died and 2,600 have been injured since the conflict began on Saturday. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), three health facilities have been shot at in Khartoum alone. At least three people were killed.

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths also wrote on Twitter on Tuesday about attacks on humanitarian workers and facilities in Sudan. He also received reports of attacks and sexual violence against aid workers. "This is unacceptable and must stop," Griffiths said.

The Bundeswehr said on Tuesday that it was preparing to support the Federal Foreign Office (AA) in the event of a militarily secured evacuation of German citizens from Sudan. According to a spokeswoman on Monday, a "low three-digit number" of German nationals in Sudan was registered in the so-called crisis prevention list of the Federal Foreign Office. A spokesman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior said on request that a federal police officer - as a security officer at the embassy - and several German employees of the UN mission UNITAMS are currently in Sudan. The latter are state police officers who were seconded to the federal police headquarters and assigned to the UN mission from there.

A UN spokeswoman in Geneva declined to comment on whether there are plans for the 4,000 United Nations employees in Sudan, including 800 foreigners. In any case, the intention is to remain on the ground and to fulfill the UN's humanitarian mandate.

Since long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in 2019, the Sudanese people have been demanding a democratic government. However, the promises made by the military that they wanted to give up power were hardly followed by action. An agreement concluded at the end of 2022 would have provided for the military to hand over power to a civilian government. The new conflict has now plunged the country into a crisis with an uncertain outcome.