No sign Sudan warring parties ready to ‘seriously negotiate’: UN

There are no signs that the warring factions in Sudan are ready to seriously negotiate an end to the fighting, the UN envoy to the country said, as a shaky 72-hour ceasefire was partially held, although armed clashes continued. were reported in strategic locations in the capital Khartoum and elsewhere.

UN envoy to Sudan Volker Perthes told a UN Security Council meeting in New York City on Tuesday that both sides in the conflict believe they can achieve victory.

“There is as yet no unequivocal sign that either is willing to negotiate seriously, suggesting that both believe securing a military victory over the other is possible,” Perthes said.

“This is a miscalculation,” he said via video link from Port Sudan in the east of the country, where the UN and others have moved some of their personnel.

Commenting on the temporary and shaky ceasefire between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which came into effect on Tuesday, Perthes said it was “holding up in some parts so far” but that the fighting in key areas.

“We are also hearing continued reports of fighting and troop movements,” he said.

Perthes also denounced what he described as the “disregard for the laws and norms of war” among the fighters who have turned Khartoum into a war zone since battles erupted on April 15, now leaving hundreds dead, thousands injured and civilian infrastructure exposed. . attacked, including hospitals.

“Both warring sides have fought with disregard for the laws and norms of war, attacking densely populated areas, with little regard for civilians, hospitals or even vehicles carrying the wounded and sick,” the UN envoy said.

The fighting, Perthes said, “has led to a humanitarian catastrophe in which civilians are bearing the brunt”.

Residential areas in Khartoum have been turned into battlefields where gun and tank fire, airstrikes and artillery fire have killed at least 459 people, injured more than 4,000, cut power and water and restricted food distribution in a country home to a third of its 46 million people already dependent on food aid.


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the violence and chaos in Sudan as “heartbreaking” and warned the UN meeting on Tuesday that fighting could spread to other countries in the region.

“Sudan borders seven countries, all of which have been involved in conflict or experienced severe civil unrest in the past decade,” he said.

“The power struggle in Sudan is not only endangering the future of that country. It ignites a fuse that can explode across borders, causing years of immense suffering and delaying development for decades.”

Despite the ceasefire, fighting could be heard late Tuesday with gunfire and explosions reported after nightfall in Omdurman, Khartoum’s sister city across the Nile River, where the army used drones to attack RSF positions, said a reporter for the Reuters news agency.

The military also used drones to drive back fighters from a fuel refinery in Bahri, the third city at the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile, Reuters reported.

Al Jazeera’s diplomatic correspondent James Bays, reporting from UN headquarters in New York City, said UN Secretary-General Guterres had painted “a very bleak and pessimistic picture” of the situation on the ground in Sudan, particularly with regard to the spreading conflict.

“The Secretary-General again warned that this could spread beyond Sudan’s borders, making it clear that there are seven countries bordering Sudan, all of which have experienced unrest or conflict in recent years,” Bays said.

“We have also heard that in Darfur there are tribes and armed groups that are taking up arms and the real concerns that some countries from around the region can absorb,” he said.

There was already a humanitarian crisis in the country before the current fighting, Bays said, adding that “the situation is so much worse now” amid the shaky ceasefire.

“The word on the ground about the current ceasefire is that it is very, very piecemeal, sporadic and only partially enforced,” he added.