Home News No Ramadan truce in war-torn African nation – army official

No Ramadan truce in war-torn African nation – army official

No Ramadan truce in war-torn African nation – army official

UN Security Council calls for a halt to fighting to allow humanitarian access to millions of people trapped in Sudan

The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) will not agree to a ceasefire in the ongoing armed conflict, even during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, unless the paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF) surrenders, a senior national army official said.

SAF Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Yasser al-Atta made a statement on Saturday rejecting a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for a ceasefire in line with the fasting period that began on Monday.

In mid-April last year – during Ramadan – intense fighting broke out between the SAF and the RSF in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, sparked by a power struggle between the rival armies. The UN says at least 14,600 people have been killed and 26,000 others injured in 11 months of hostilities that have spread across the African nation and are said to have taken on ethnic dimensions.

Last Thursday, as he called for a ceasefire between warring factions, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the UN Security Council that the humanitarian crisis in Sudan had reached “Colossal proportions,” with 25 million people in desperate need of life-saving assistance.

The 15-member council on Friday approved a British-drafted resolution calling on all parties to the conflict to immediately cease hostilities and seek a long-term solution through dialogue. Only Russia abstained, arguing that the international community, including the UN Security Council, is only responsible for facilitating the peace process and not for imposing rules and principles on a sovereign state.

In a statement on Saturday, the paramilitary RSF supported the UN decision and said the Ramadan ceasefire would ensure “fundamental opportunity” for negotiating a political settlement of the conflict.

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However, in a speech to army graduates in the eastern Sudanese city of Kassala, the SAF commander said “there is no truce in Ramadan” unless the RSF follows an agreement reached last May during talks in the Saudi city of Jeddah to withdraw from civilian homes and public properties. The talks, brokered by Saudi Arabia and the US, were the first attempts at reconciliation since clashes broke out in the landlocked country.

Sudan’s de facto ruler and SAF leader, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, also recently demanded Niamey’s reintegration into the African Union in exchange for accepting the bloc’s mediation mission to end the armed conflict. The war-torn state was suspended from the pan-African body following a 2021 coup.