The Sudanese capital Khartoum witnessed relatively calm on Saturday, with a 24-hour truce brokered by the United States (US) and Saudi Arabia that allows humanitarian access and gives residents a chance to take a breather from the pressures of heavy fighting.
The brief truce follows a series of ceasefire agreements violated by both parties to the conflict, the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF).
The US and Saudi Arabia said they were “disappointed” by the violations in the latest truce statement, and the two mediators threatened to postpone the talks, which have continued indirectly lately, if the fighting continues.
Army commander Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan confirmed that he supports any solution that ends the militia war, as he put it.
He said during a call with the chairman of the AU and the president of the Comoros, Ghazali Othmani, on Saturday, that the Armed Forces support any solution that ends the war of militias with the help of foreign mercenaries, referring to the RSF led by Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.
He also considered that the reason for the failure of the previous truces is due to the lack of binding mechanisms to follow up on violations of the RSF, he said.
In addition, he accused the RSF of not committing to evacuate citizens ‘ homes, hospitals, service centers and public facilities.
During the call, he also touched upon the efforts exerted through the Jeddah platform to resolve the crisis in the country, despite the failure of all previous truces.
Meanwhile, The United Nations (UN) rejected Sudan’s claim that its envoy to the country, is “persona non grata.
UN Secretary General’s spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said on Friday that Khartoum’s designation of Volker Peretz as “persona non grata” violates the principles of the UN and “cannot be applied,” noting that the German’s status “has not changed.”
“Mr. Peretz’s status has not changed and the secretary general’s position remains as it was expressed before the Security Council last week,” said Dujarric, referring to the “absolute confidence” repeatedly expressed by Antonio Guterres in his envoy to Sudan.
On Thursday, the Sudanese government declared German envoy Volker Peretz “persona non grata”, the foreign ministry said.
“The government of the Republic of Sudan has notified the UN Secretary-General of the designation of Volker Peretz, representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of UNITAMS, as of (Thursday), as persona non grata,” the ministry said in a statement.
Earlier, the UN announced that Peretz was in Addis Ababa on Thursday for a series of diplomatic talks.
Sudan’s army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, accused Peretz of contributing to Sudan’s bloody conflict in mid-April with his “biased and misguided approach.
Guterres said on Thursday he was “shocked” by a letter from Al-Burhan asking for the “alternative candidacy” of Peretz, accusing him of “forgery and misinformation” while leading a political process that has turned into a devastating war.
“On 15 April, the day the fighting began in Khartoum, Al-Burhan was supposed to meet with RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo for UN-facilitated negotiations.
A Sudanese government source said that Peretz “took sides with certain political parties,” and in view of the lack of response from U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres with the request of Al- Burhan, “the Sudanese government has not found anything other than to take this decision.
Sources in the Sudanese presidency previously explained that Peretz, who was appointed in 2021, had pressed for a political transition to civilian rule, something some in the army objected to.
Peretz has repeatedly expressed “optimism” about an agreement on integrating the RSF into the army, saying he was “surprised” by the war in the country.