Aid reaches Sudan’s vulnerable as U.S., Saudi Arabia urge extension of cease-fire

The United States and Saudi Arabia urged Sudan’s rival military factions on Sunday to extend a week-long truce that has allowed aid groups to reach more Sudanese in desperate need of aid and safe haven.

“While imperfect, an extension will nevertheless facilitate the delivery of urgently needed humanitarian aid to the Sudanese people,” the two countries said in a joint statement.

The fragile ceasefire ends on Monday evening. Last week was one of the calmest since the fighting began, allowing humanitarian organizations to more safely move emergency aid convoys and set up distribution points, Aida al-Sayed said on Friday , the secretary general of the Sudanese Red Crescent.

Sporadic fighting, particularly in Khartoum and North Darfur, has continued despite the ceasefire. The latest truce was the seventh agreed since fighting broke out on April 15 between General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who heads the army, and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who heads the Forces of Quick Support rivals.

Hundreds of people have been killed and the fighting has displaced around a million Sudanese and around 300,000 others have fled to neighboring nations. Many people live in terrible conditions without access to health care, water, electricity and safe passage to get around.

How Sudan’s Spring Democratic Hopes Went So Bad

Medina Youssef learned that desperately needed bags of corn were distributed to another part of his neighborhood, Jaden, in the Sudanese capital on Saturday. But the 43-year-old mother said she has yet to see any of the humanitarian aid that has come in over the past week as part of the truce negotiated by Washington and Riyadh.

Youssef hopes to receive help soon if the ceasefire does not last. On Saturday, as some clashes continued, a shell fell and nearly killed her son, she told The Washington Post by phone. “We have nothing,” Youssef said.

Under the scorching sun of Jaden on Saturday, Ismaiel Mohamed, the supervisor of a local branch of the Sudanese Red Crescent, helped distribute about one and a half sacks of maize each to the needy families, which are now all families , he said. The previous day, a convoy sent by the Sudan Red Crescent for the first time arrived in Umbada, a town west of the capital, with food sent by the World Food Programme. It was one of many aid missions in recent days that helped move a wide variety of items, including chlorine to treat water and medical supplies, al-Sayed said.

The Red Crescent is present in Darfur, but remains unable to send aid to all parts of the region, where ethnic-fueled violence has been among the most intense, al-Sayed said. If the truce holds, he said, they are ready to launch aid.

The World Food Program has reached about 180,000 people in the states of North, East and South Darfur, but had not been able to reach Central Darfur due to heavy violence, Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General of the UN, António Guterres. Since the UN agency resumed work in Sudan on May 9, it has provided more than 600,000 people with food and nutrition support, Dujarric said.

The weakness of the truce, however, has made it difficult for organizations to plan what comes next.

“Humanitarian operations in many parts of the country may come to a halt,” Médecins Sans Frontières warned in a statement on Friday. “Looting and attacks on health facilities and warehouses have significantly reduced our stock. … We call on the parties to the conflict to guarantee humanitarian access and allow us to help the Sudanese people.”

In pictures: The story behind the crisis in Sudan

The latest truce enacted a multi-party committee to monitor violations. Wednesdaythe group said there were “significant breaches” of the agreement, including “the use of artillery and military aircraft and drones, credible reports of airstrikes, sustained fighting” in Khartoum and Darfur.

After conditions calmed on Thursday, “urgently needed medical supplies” arrived in several parts of Sudan, the committee said in a statement, and efforts were renewed to restore some telecommunications services.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned last week that “if the ceasefire is violated, we will know about it and hold violators accountable through sanctions and other means.”

Meanwhile, Youssef said on Sunday that he cannot find basic products such as oil, flour and sugar in any store. Any food or medical supplies still available, he said, cost at least twice what they were before the fight began. Despite the continued violence, his family cannot afford the increased cost of transportation to leave.

Source link

Related Posts

Next Post