SA calls for end of hostilities in Sudan

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Government says it has noted with concern and condemns the fighting that erupted on Saturday morning in several parts of Khartoum and other areas outside the capital between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

“The South African government calls for peace and calm among the parties involved in the conflict, in keeping with the African Union (AU) objective of silencing the guns on the continent,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement.

According to CNN, at the heart of the clashes are Sudan’s military leader Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the commander of the paramilitary, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

“Until recently, they were allies. The pair worked together to topple ousted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in 2019 and played a pivotal role in the military coup in 2021,” CNN explained.

However, the news channel said tensions erupted during negotiations to integrate the RSF into the country’s military as part of plans to restore civilian rule.

“South Africa appeals to the different factions of the Sudanese army to immediately cease all fighting, spare the Sudanese people any further violence during this holy month of Ramadan and immediately return to the negotiation table, to agree on a sustainable military and security sector reform programme, as part of the Final Agreement towards the restoration of a civilian-led transitional government in Sudan,” the department said.

Meanwhile, government has described the situation in Sudan as “disturbing” as it affects ordinary people who have suffered from instability in the country over a prolonged period.

South Africa joins AU, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres in their call on the parties to return to the negotiating table and continue their dialogue to transition the country to a civilian-led government.

Guterres labelled what was happening as “appalling”.

He said the ongoing clashes in Sudan have resulted in the deaths and injuries of civilians, including three of the World Food Programme (WFP) colleagues killed while carrying out their work.

“Those responsible should be brought to justice without delay. Humanitarian workers are #NotATarget,” he tweeted.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), since 13 April, more than 83 people have been killed and more than 1 126 people injured across Khartoum, South Kordofan, North Darfur, Northern State and other regions, with the heaviest concentration of fighting now taking place in Khartoum City.

The agency also reported that movement in the city is restricted due to the insecurity creating challenges for doctors, nurses, patients, and ambulances to reach health facilities, and putting at risk the lives of those who need urgent medical care.