US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called on “rival generals” in Sudan to adhere to the recent ceasefire otherwise they will face possible sanctions, as residents reported sporadic fighting Tuesday between warring parties in the capital Khartoum.
The fighting was “tragic, senseless, and devastating,” Blinken said in a video message posted on social media by the US Embassy in Khartoum on Tuesday.
He added that the truce aims to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid and to restore basic services and infrastructure that were destroyed in the clashes.
“He noted that a remote truce monitoring mechanism, which is composed of three representatives from the warring parties, three from the United States, and three from Saudi Arabia – had been set up with the US support.”
“If the ceasefire is violated, we will know and hold violators accountable through sanctions and other means,” Blinken said. “We facilitated the ceasefire, but the responsibility for implementing it rests with the Sudan Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
For his part, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Sudan, Volker Peretz, renewed his call for the parties in Sudan to stop fighting and return to serious negotiations leading to a real ceasefire, as the fighting in Sudan enters its fifth week.
Peretz said during a briefing to the Security Council that the conflict showed no signs of slowing despite repeated declarations of ceasefires by both sides. Neither side has yet demonstrated the ability to declare a decisive military victory.
“Both sides demand that I take a stand and condemn the actions of the other side. I call on the parties to end the fighting and return to dialogue for the benefit of the Sudan and its people.”
Peretz stressed that a lasting peace in Sudan can be defined only by a creditable civilian-led transition.
He expressed his appreciation for the regional and international efforts to end the fighting in the Sudan urgently, stressing the need to coordinate efforts to formulate a common approach involving the neighbors of the Sudan and the region.
The UN would continue to work closely with partners in the Tripartite Mechanism, the African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to support those efforts.
“The UN official welcomed the Saudi-US mediation that led to the signing of a declaration of commitment to protect civilians on 11 May, a seven-day ceasefire and humanitarian arrangements on 20 May.
He said he would continue to engage with the leadership of the Sudan Armed Forces and the RSF, to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure while pushing for an end to this war.”
“The responsibility for the fighting lies with those who fight it every day: to lead the two sides who have chosen to settle their conflict on the battlefield rather than at the table. It is their decision that is devastating the Sudan. They can end it.”
He said civilians had paid a heavy price for this “senseless violence,” adding that fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the RSF since 15 April had killed “more than 860 people, including 190 children, and injured 3,500 others.”