Sudan’s Ramadan Truce Uncertain Amid Paramilitary Presence


The prospect of a Ramadan truce in war-torn Sudan remains uncertain as a top army general insists on the withdrawal of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) from civilian areas. Yasser al-Atta, a deputy commander of the Sudanese army, emphasized that any ceasefire during the holy month hinges on the RSF’s compliance with previous commitments to vacate civilian sites.

Ceasefire Appeal Amidst Conflict Escalation

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According to CNN International, despite recent military advancements claimed by the Sudanese army in Omdurman, tensions persist as the RSF continues to hold strategic positions. The United Nations Security Council’s call for a Ramadan ceasefire has been met with skepticism, given the ongoing clashes and the army’s insistence on RSF withdrawal from civilian locales.

In a surprising turn, the RSF expressed openness to the ceasefire appeal, signaling a potential shift in the conflict’s dynamics. However, the precondition set forth by General al-Atta underscores the complexities underlying any cessation of hostilities.

The Jeddah Agreement

The Jeddah Agreement of May last year, brokered by Saudi Arabia and the United States, roots General al-Atta’s stance. The agreement stipulated the RSF’s withdrawal from civilian dwellings and public areas, a condition that remains unfulfilled, according to the Sudanese army.

The conflict, which erupted in mid-April 2023, has inflicted widespread devastation and triggered mass displacement across Sudan. Residents of Omdurman’s war-torn districts, such as Wad Nubawi, bear witness to the destruction wrought by the fighting, with hopes for a ceasefire intertwined with aspirations for rebuilding and restoration.

UN’s Plea for Peace

Amidst mounting humanitarian concerns, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged all parties to observe a Ramadan truce. However, logistical challenges and the reluctance of the warring factions cast doubt on the feasibility of such an initiative.

As Sudan grapples with its worst humanitarian crisis in decades, achieving a lasting ceasefire remains contingent on overcoming entrenched divisions and implementing past agreements. With the specter of hunger looming large and millions in need of aid, the urgency for a cessation of hostilities grows ever more pressing. Yet, navigating the intricate web of political interests and military dynamics presents formidable challenges on the path to peace.

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