United Nations urges Sudan’s warring generals to honor 7-day ceasefire

  • Sudan’s UN envoy has urged the country’s warring generals to honor a seven-day ceasefire that began on Monday night.
  • Volker Perthes warned that the growing ethnic dimension of the fighting risks engulfing the geographically strategic country in a protracted conflict that threatens the region.
  • The UN Security Council said on Monday that the violence, which began on April 15, has shown no signs of slowing down despite earlier declarations of ceasefires by both sides.

The UN envoy for Sudan has urged the country’s warring generals to honor a seven-day ceasefire starting Monday night, warning of the growing ethnic dimension of the fighting that risks engulfing Sudan in a protracted conflict.

Volker Perthes told the UN Security Council that the conflict, which began on April 15, has shown no signs of slowing down despite earlier declarations of ceasefires by both sides. But he said that this time they must stop the fighting so desperately needed humanitarian aid can get to those in need and civilians caught up in the fighting can leave safely.

US and Saudi mediators announced Saturday after a meeting in the Saudi port city of Jeddah that representatives of the Sudanese military, led by General Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the paramilitary rapid support forces, led by General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, signed the il The short-term ceasefire is expected to take effect at 21:45 local time in Sudan on Monday night.

The ongoing truce is the seventh ceasefire announced since the conflict began on 15 April. All previous deals have failed.

Unlike previous verbal truces, Monday’s inked deal — brokered by the United States and Saudi Arabia — will be accompanied by a cross-party committee designed to track down any violations, the two mediator nations said. The 12-person committee will consist of three representatives from both warring sides, three from the United States and three from Saudi Arabia.


Suliman Baldo, director of the think tank Sudan Transparency and Policy Tracker, expects the two sides to better adhere to this week-long ceasefire.

“I think the RSF needs a break as it has come under a lot of pressure from the SAF in Khartoum trying to clear RSF units out of residential areas,” he said.

Perthes called the agreement, which is renewable, “a positive development” but warned that “the fighting and troop movements have continued today, despite a pledge by both sides not to pursue military advantage before the ceasefire comes into force”.

He said civilians had paid a heavy price for the “senseless violence”. According to conservative estimates, she said, more than 700 people have been killed, including 190 children, 6,000 have been injured, many are missing, and over 1 million have been displaced. The internally displaced include more than 840,000 who have fled to areas within Sudan and 250,000 who have fled the country.

Perthes accused both warring sides in the capital Khartoum, in the vast western Darfur region, and elsewhere of continuing the fighting and ignoring the laws of war by attacking homes, shops, places of worship, water and electricity installations.

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The United Nations has urged Sudan’s warring generals to honor a seven-day ceasefire that began on Monday night.

Healthcare facilities are collapsing with more than two-thirds of hospitals closed, many healthcare workers killed, medical supplies running low and healthcare facilities being used as military posts, he said.

Reports of sexual violence against women and girls, including rapes in Khartoum and Darfur, are being followed by the United Nations, she said.

“Reports of rampant looting of Sudanese homes and businesses, intimidation, harassment and enforced disappearances of residents are deeply worrying,” Perthes said, adding that UN premises, residences and warehouses have also been looted. He said criminal activity was exacerbated by the release of thousands of prisoners and the spread of small arms.

Perthes has repeatedly expressed concern about the troubling ethnic dimension of the war.

In the early 2000s, African tribes in Darfur who had long complained of discrimination revolted against the Khartoum government, which responded with a military campaign that the International Criminal Court later ruled amounted to genocide. State-backed Arab militias known as Janjaweed have been accused of widespread killings, rapes and other atrocities. Later the Janjaweed evolved into the Rapid Support Force.


Since the start of the fighting, Darfur has been a battleground between the RSF military and paramilitaries.

Clashes between rival forces escalated into ethnic violence in El Geneina, West Darfur, Perthes said on April 24, with tribal militias joining the fight and civilians taking up arms to protect themselves.

“Houses, markets and hospitals have been looted and burned, the premises of the United Nations looted,” he said.

Perthes said more than 450 civilians were reportedly killed and another 700 injured. On May 12, renewed violence reportedly led to at least 280 more deaths and displaced tens of thousands in Chad, he said.


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