Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
Regional and international appeals have failed to stop the ongoing fighting between the Sudanese army, led by Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces, led by the deputy head of the ruling Sovereignty Council, Lieutenant General Muhammad Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti. Several brief ceasefire agreements, humanitarian corridors and hospital pledges to halt hostilities have failed to stop the fighting. It is an open war between yesterday’s allies, expected to become today’s enemies, that is likely to continue even if the fighting stops. The solution is blocked by the shadow of two powerful fighting armies and militias with enough weapons, the necessary political support and the regional and international connections to impose a winner.
No country in the region is interested in continued instability in the Middle East at a time when talks are underway to bring together yesterday’s adversaries and restore relations between Syria, Iran and the Gulf states. As a result, the Middle East and Africa need an immediate ceasefire, rationality and respect for civilians. There are serious concerns that Sudan could be plunged into a war similar to that in Syria, which has lasted for more than a decade. There is also a severe risk that the war in Sudan could spill over into neighbouring countries, particularly in the volatile Sahel region of Africa.
The African Union has tried to reach out to both sides of the conflict but has yet to achieve a breakthrough, suggesting a lack of willingness on either side to end the civil war. Fighting for control of the presidential palace and airports has prevented a peace delegation from Kenya, South Sudan and Djibouti from reaching Khartoum’s insecure airport. Calls for an end to the fighting from the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia have fallen on deaf ears. Fierce fighting has rocked various parts of the capital and military bases in the east and west. At the same time, official buildings such as state television and several ministries have come under shelling and fire. Both sides are claiming victory over the other, but it is too early to tell which way the war is heading. It is true that the army is better equipped, with mechanised units and air support, and is more likely to have the upper hand in the end. But if the fighting continues, both forces will be exhausted.
Many students were trapped without food or medical supplies, and many civilians fled their homes after being caught in the fighting, with electricity and water cut off in several areas. Medical supplies began to dry up, and some hospitals were closed because they could no longer function. After only a few days of fighting, the situation became even more tragic, with hundreds of people killed and thousands injured. This situation requires a temporary ceasefire to allow the distribution of essential supplies and the return of besieged civilians to their homes. But it will not solve the root of the problem. Both sides accuse each other of wanting to control strategic locations. Both claim to be restoring democracy and order and handing power to a civilian government. But the dispute goes far beyond that.
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