AFRICA/SUDAN – 100 days of fighting in Sudan and no peace in sight
Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) – As the Sudanese conflict enters its 100th day, one of the two parties involved, the regular army (Sudanese Armed Forces – SAF) rejects the mediation initiated by IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development), the regional organization that includes Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda, which proposes the deployment of an interposition force in Sudan. General Yasser Al-Atta, deputy commander of the SAF also warned Kenya not to interfere in the ongoing conflict in his country, accusing Kenyan President William Ruto, who presides over the quartet in charge of mediating the Sudanese conflict (made up of Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Djibouti) of being “a mercenary for another country”, without specifying which one. The SAF has long accused Ruto of being in cahoots with General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, known as Hemedti, head of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the paramilitary force with which the regular army engaged in the conflict that broke out on April 15. Meanwhile, yesterday, July 24, fighting continued in Khartoum. A neighborhood committee in Umbada has stated that at least 15 people have been killed in the attacks carried out in Omdurman. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that more than 740,000 refugees have fled from Sudan and arrived in precarious conditions in neighboring countries (Chad, Central African Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Sudan). Since the start of the fighting, more than 3.3 million people have been internally displaced or have had to seek refuge abroad.
The clash between the SAF and the RSF now risks exploding into a broader conflict involving the country’s different ethnic groups and the Islamist forces that were ousted from power in 2019 by the two military formations that were then allies. All this with the danger that it may also affect some of the neighboring states. In Darfur, the RSF is accused of carrying out “ethnic cleansing” operations against non-Arab ethnic groups, while in South Kordofan, a faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North rebel group has reportedly seized control of several SAF bases. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 25/7/2023)