Khartoum: Sudan’s warring generals are close to signing a joint declaration that would allow humanitarian access to the country’s capital, with African Union troops potentially being deployed to secure the airport, senior AU and UN officials said. officials said.
An agreement being reached between representatives of the Sudanese armed forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Force in Saudi Arabia is in its final stages and could provide a framework for aid to flow to Khartoum, where the two sides are at war. About a month. According to the World Health Organisation, at least 570 people have been killed, while more than 5,000 have been injured.
“The last information we had as of yesterday was that the parties in Jeddah would be able to sign a document on the humanitarian question,” Hackett Lebat, a senior adviser to AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, said in a phone interview on Wednesday. Morning.
He said “discussions are underway” on how AU peacekeeping forces could secure the airport, which has been heavily damaged by the fighting. The United States and Saudi Arabia are leading the talks in Jeddah.
Nearly four weeks into the conflict, millions of Sudanese are still unable to access needed aid, arriving at the country’s main port 670 kilometers (416 mi) northeast of Khartoum due to a lack of security along the main transit route. is stuck.
According to the International Organization for Migration, the number of internally displaced people in Sudan has doubled in the past week to more than 700,000, while some 200,000 have fled to neighboring countries. According to the World Food Programme, an additional 2 million to 2.5 million people are expected to fall into starvation in the coming months due to the conflict.
Volker Perthes, the UN chief representative in Sudan, said in an interview that with international concern over the possibility of regional infections, discussions have begun on what form the political dialogue will take. But this will come when humanitarian access is secured and a genuine ceasefire is established” – both sides have repeatedly broken a previously agreed ceasefire since the start of the conflict.
He said the political dialogue would be led by the AU, the UN, the Arab League and the regional intergovernmental authority on development blocs.
Both generals – Abdul Fattah al Burhan, who leads the Sudanese armed forces, and Mohamed Hamdan Dagallo, who heads the RSF – originally expected “it would be a quick victory on the other side,” they said.
But “both sides have realized there will be no quick victory” and that a protracted conflict could devastate the country of 45 million people, he said. “If this war continues, even if one side wins in the end, they risk losing their country.”