Sudan fears an upsurge in violence after evacuations
Kanako Mita, Chika Mori, and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
International evacuations are continuing in Sudan. However, the fear is that fighting will erupt once international evacuations have been completed.
Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (head of the Sudanese armed forces) and Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (known as Hemedti – the leader of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces) are the two belligerents in the crisis.
The death toll is now over 500. Accordingly, thousands of people have been injured since clashes first began.
Volker Perthes, the main UN diplomat in Sudan, said: “In Khartoum, fighting around the Republican Palace, Khartoum international airport, the army headquarters, RSF bases and other strategic locations has largely continued or, in some cases, intensified… Airstrikes and heavy shelling have also continued, particularly in Bahri and Omdurman.”
Reuters reports, “The World Health Organization said only 16% of health facilities were functioning in Khartoum and predicted “many more deaths” due to disease and shortages of food, water and medical services including immunization.”
Sudan’s Forces of Freedom and Change (FCC) – and civilian groups – fear that the armed forces will shut down the road to democracy. Accordingly, the suspicion is that elements of the old regime under Omar al-Bashir will retrench themselves.
The FCC says, “This war, which is ignited by the ousted regime, will lead the country to collapse.”
Various outside initiatives are seeking to stem the crisis.
The Sudan Tribune reports, “The Sudanese army announced its initial acceptance of an initiative from the IGAD regional bloc aimed at stopping the fighting in Sudan and holding negotiations in Juba with the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).”
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is a regional mechanism that could work in tandem with others – including the African Union – and seek compromises on all sides.
The region of Darfur is also bracing itself for more instability concerning ethnic and political differences. Hence, the situation on the ground is chaotic.
In Darfur, the non-Arab ethnic groups are worried about the clashes. Last year, the remnants of the Arab Janjaweed were integrated with the RSF. Therefore, massacres in the Kereneink region in Darfur led to accusations that the RSF was involved.
The BBC reports, “Explosions and gunfire could still be heard on Wednesday, with warplanes in the air, although it was quieter than before the ceasefire and the situation was good enough for evacuations to continue.”
Regional nations with severe internal problems also face the prospect of vast numbers of refugees.
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