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SUDAN: ATTACKS CONTINUE DURING EID AL-FITR

Region of Concern: Sudan

Written By Beatrice Cirorne; Edited by Salomon Montaguth

Date: April 21, 2023


Sudanese Army Leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan[1]


Event: On April 21, the Sudanese army and Rapid Support Forces (RSF) broke their ceasefire promises in Sudan. The international community had called for a three-day ceasefire starting Friday at 6 a.m. to facilitate the arrival of humanitarian aid, evacuate foreign nationals, and allow the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr. Despite RSF assurances, both factions of the dispute have been continuing clashes in the capital Khartoum and the Darfur region.[2] The conflict between the Sudanese army, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the RSF rebels, headed by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, began last Saturday and has resulted in the deaths of more than 400 people.[3]


Significance: The event will trigger a spillover effect in the neighboring countries, such as Chad, Eritrea, and the Central African Republic, increasing the risk of violence extending into their territories and a massive flow of Sudanese people fleeing the country, undermining their political and social stability. The cycle of violence will very likely delay the arrival of humanitarian aid and necessities, causing an increase in malnutrition and disease spread and thus increasing civilian deaths. The Sudanese army will very likely use its military superiority to launch air strikes and interrupt satellite communications to gain full control of the capital. Both sides of the conflict are likely to target shops and humanitarian and international organization headquarters to gain access to food and medicine supplies, worsening social conditions for the Sudanese civilian population. They will likely use the offices of NGOs, international organizations, and diplomatic representations as humanitarian shields, threatening international personnel's lives and the deployment of regular diplomatic and humanitarian activities. Attacks are likely to target religious places, particularly mosques during the period of celebrations for the end of Ramadan.


Recommendations: The international community, through the UN and the African Union, should denounce the ongoing violence and urge immediate dialogue between the Sudanese army and RSF to enable the evacuation of diplomatic and humanitarian personnel. The UN Security Council should authorize a provisional embargo on weapons and military equipment to force the parties involved in the conflict to reach an immediate cease-fire. Neighboring countries should increase the number of health personnel on the border with Sudan to provide medical care to refugees and military deployment to check the identities of those crossing the border and prevent illicit arms smuggling. The international community should send humanitarian aid, such as long-lasting food, medicine, necessities, field tents, and blankets, to Sudanese neighboring countries to provide aid to refugees fleeing the country. Humanitarian organizations in the territory, such as the International Red Cross and Emergency, should relocate their staff outside the capital Khartoum and use local radio stations to support the enforcement of international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians. Humanitarian agencies and NGOs cooperating with the civilian population, should affix signs on civilian buildings, such as hospitals, schools, and NGO headquarters, to enhance their visibility and reduce the possibility of unintentional airstrikes on non-military targets.

 

[1]Chairman of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan in October 2019” by Kremlin.ru licensed under CC BY 4.0

[2] Sudan's paramilitary RSF agrees to 72-hour ceasefire over Eid Al-Fitr holiday, France24, April 2023, https://www.france24.com/en/africa/20230421-sudan-s-paramilitary-rsf-agrees-to-72-hour-ceasefire-on-humanitarian-grounds

[3] Street battles in Sudan capital as Eid ceasefire calls ignored, France24, April 2023, https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20230421-heavy-gunfire-in-sudan-as-eid-ceasefire-calls-ignored

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