Amid growing international concern about armed clashes among the Army of Sudan and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which has already cost dozens of deaths since the conflict broke out on Saturday, Kenya, South Sudan and Djibouti announced that they will try to mediate to reduce tension in the African country.
Presidents are expected William Ruto (Kenya), Salva Kiir (South Sudan), and Ismail Omar Guele (Djibouti) travel in the next few hours to Sudan.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) agreed send “as soon as possible” to the three presidents in a reconciliation initiative, according to what was reported by the Kenyan presidency in a statement.
They also urged the interim president of Sudan, General Abdelfatah al-Burhanand the leader of the RSF, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, to “stop the war and return to negotiations”. “Stability in Sudan is key to social and economic stability in the region. The conflict undermines the progress towards peace achieved in the last four months,” they warned.
Likewise, the IGAD leaders called on the two opposing groups to agree on the creation of humanitarian corridors in Khartoum and other towns affected by the fighting.
They have gone further to the point of requesting “the immediate cessation of hostilities” in a telematic meeting in which Ruto, Kiir, Guele, the president of Uganda, Yoweri Museveniand the president of Somalia, Hasan Shaykh Mohamud.
At the meeting, Ruto asked the IGAD leaders “to adopt a firm stance to restore peace to Khartoum,” the Kenyan presidency reported.
IGAD is a regional body founded in 1986 that brings together Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan and South Sudan.
For its part, the Sudanese Armed Forces affirmed this Sunday that the general situation in the country is “very stable” and that, in the second consecutive day of fighting, there have only been “limited clashes” between the Army and the FAR.
The Armed Forces indicated in a statement that the clashes took place mainly in the perimeter of the Khartoum Army headquarters and in other military installations, without providing further details.
The clashes have continued this Sunday in the capital and other areas of the country, where the FAR has claimed to control several military installations and airports, a point that the Army has denied.
The Armed Forces accused the paramilitaries of resorting to guerrilla methods and from entering densely populated areas, for which reason the Army warned that it cannot make use of all its military capabilities, such as carrying out aerial bombardments, according to the note.
“Our forces are handling the situation with stability, balance and great professionalism,” added the Army, which indicated that its soldiers “are in the best conditions, fulfilling their duty and with high morale,” while promising that “it will resolve the situation very soon.
The fighting, which began on Saturday, has so far left more than 78 dead and some 600 injured to varying degrees, according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, which warned that the figure could be much higher because it has not been possible to count the victims in several regions that are difficult to access.
This Sunday, given the escalation of violence in highly populated cities, the Army and the FAR accepted a UN proposal to establish humanitarian corridors and cease fighting in residential areas between four and seven in the afternoon, something that has allowed the evacuation of more than a thousand residents in Khartoum, they told the agency EFE Sudanese Red Crescent sources.
However, hostilities did not cease in areas far from urban centerssuch as in the vicinity of the Army headquarters, or in the vicinity of the Khartoum international airport, where there was an explosion in a fuel depot.
The situation in other areas, such as the conflictive region of Darfur, is uncertain since the two warring parties have claimed that they have taken control of the same strategic points.
(With information from Europa Press and EFE)
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