Conflicts: Hope for ceasefire in Sudan - UN Security Council advises

A ceasefire between the two parties to the conflict came into effect at midnight in Sudan, which had been shaken by days of fighting.

Conflicts: Hope for ceasefire in Sudan - UN Security Council advises

A ceasefire between the two parties to the conflict came into effect at midnight in Sudan, which had been shaken by days of fighting. There were initially no reports of major skirmishes on Tuesday night, but due to recent experience there was skepticism as to whether the ceasefire would really hold. The UN Security Council wants to discuss the situation in Sudan again in an emergency meeting - according to diplomatic circles, probably in a public round in the evening around 9:00 p.m. (CEST).

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken informed yesterday that the Sudanese armed forces and their rival paramilitary units (Rapid Support Forces, RSF) had agreed to observe a nationwide ceasefire for 72 hours from midnight. The RSF confirmed the ceasefire and announced the establishment of humanitarian corridors to allow civilians access to medical care and safe zones, and to assist in the evacuation of foreign diplomats.

Similar announcements had already been made by the parties to the conflict, but these were not complied with. They repeatedly broke a self-agreed ceasefire for the Eid-al-Fitr celebrations at the end of the Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan, which was supposed to last until Monday evening.

US National Security Council communications director John Kirby told CNN that they have been in close contact with leaders of both camps since fighting began in Sudan, trying to persuade them to agree on a stable ceasefire. Now it is important to monitor compliance with the new ceasefire as best as possible. Blinken emphasized that in order to work towards a permanent end to the fighting, the USA wanted to coordinate with regional and international partners as well as Sudanese actors. A committee should be set up to oversee negotiations on an end to the fighting and the implementation of the results.

Heavy fighting broke out between the military and paramilitaries in Sudan more than a week ago. De facto President Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who is also the supreme commander of the army, wants to use the military to oust his deputy Mohammed Hamdan Daglo, the leader of the influential paramilitary group RSF. The two men had taken over the leadership of the country on the Horn of Africa with around 46 million inhabitants through two joint military coups in 2019 and 2021. According to the United Nations, more than 400 people have been killed and around 4,000 injured since the conflict began.

evacuation of foreign citizens

Yesterday, while foreign nationals continued to be evacuated from Sudan, fierce fighting broke out again in the country. According to media reports, the Sudanese air force again flew attacks in the city of Omdurman, which borders the capital Khartoum.

In the meantime, Germany has taken over the coordination of evacuation flights from the crisis state from France. The Bundeswehr is now responsible for coordinating flight movements to the receiving airfield, a spokesman for the Bundeswehr Operations Command said on Tuesday night to the German Press Agency. The aim is to regulate flight times and practical operations at the military airfield near Khartoum, which is used by western countries.

Several western countries had begun to fly their own citizens and members of other nations out of the country over the weekend. France has now practically completed its evacuation mission. How long the rescue flights can continue depends largely on the security situation in the country.

Israel as mediator

According to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, more than 1,000 foreigners were brought to safety by Monday afternoon. The Spaniard reckoned there could be at least 1,200 to 1,500 EU citizens by the end of the day alone. The German Air Force flew out about 400 Germans and other nationals in military transports. However, the Foreign Office assumed on Monday that there were still Germans on site. Their number is unclear, "because we can't reach some of them by phone at the moment," said a spokesman.

On Monday evening, Israel brought itself into play as a mediator in the conflict. The Israeli foreign ministry has offered to host talks in Israel to end the violence, a spokesman said. There is contact with high-ranking representatives of both sides in Sudan. Israel has been working for years to normalize its relations with the African country.

The UN special representative in Sudan, Volker Perthes, wants to stay in the country and work there: "We are determined to stay in Sudan and to support the Sudanese people in every way we can," he said. However, the situation for the Sudanese remains precarious: according to the UN emergency aid office, tens of thousands have already fled to neighboring Chad, Egypt and South Sudan. Since the situation in the country is still extremely unstable, more people will probably try to get to safety.