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Sudan deserves world’s attention

The civil war in Sudan clocked one year in April, with its devastating effect on the populace, yet the international community is watching as the…

The civil war in Sudan clocked one year in April, with its devastating effect on the populace, yet the international community is watching as the belligerents destroy the country further.

On April 15, 2023, the government forces led by General Abdel Fattah al Burhan took arms against the militia forces, the Rapid Support Forces of Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, after the two sides failed to agree to a power-sharing arrangement for a new government. Prior to that, the country had witnessed a measure of instability, following the coup that ousted Omar al-Bashir, who ruled the country for 20 years with a heavy hand.

In the last year, the war has led to the devastation of the country with attendant humanitarian crises. According to aid agencies, between 13,000 and 15,000 people have died in the conflict while 31,000 were injured. The war has also led to the displacement of more 6.1 million with two million moving to neighbouring countries, especially Chad as refugees.

The United Nations Office for Humanitarian Coordination in its recent report on the conflict said no fewer than four million children have been uprooted. It also said that fighting, which has devastated the capital city, Khartoum, and spread to other parts of the country, especially Darfur, was hampering the distribution of food and medicines to the affected civilian population.

It is indeed unfortunate that the world has allowed Sudan to descend into this quagmire. The country has been moving from one crisis to the other, including Southern Sudan and Darfur. This was not helped much by the fact that the country has been ruled by one dictator after another. Another report has said that under the best of times, about 25 million Sudanese, representing 50 per cent of the population, were requiring food aid.

It is appalling that the international community is standing aloof as millions of Sudanese are going through harrowing experiences. It is hard to recall any serious effort made in the last few months to stop the war. At the initial stage of the war, the Arab League attempted a reconciliation, which resulted in the Jeddah Agreement, which both parties have so far breached.

Efforts also by the regional body, IGAD, did not yield any positive result and in the last few months, the conflict just escalated.

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently said war crimes have been committed by both sides of the conflict.

He cited indiscriminate attacks, “killing, injuring and terrorising civilians” during the conflict between the RSF and the army.

“The latest reports of escalating hostilities in El Fasher — the capital of North Darfur — are a fresh cause for deep alarm,” he said.

“The main problem is clear: there are two generals that have opted for a military solution and they have until now, obstructed all serious efforts of mediation,” he stressed.

On April 15, 2024 France, Germany and the European Union hosted a conference aimed at funding humanitarian aid to the war-torn country. The conference received pledges to the tune of two billion euros.

But what the Sudanese people require most is the immediate cessation of the war. It is clear that no humanitarian aid will serve any purpose as long as they are being killed or displaced from their houses.

Daily Trust believes that the international community has a duty to go beyond collecting aid for the people of Sudan. What is required is more effort to force the two belligerent generals into a ceasefire and to hand over to at least an interim government that would organise an election in the country. Both of them have nothing to offer the country, given their antecedents.

We are aware that the world’s attention is more on the ongoing wars between Russia and Ukraine as well as the  Israeli War on Gaza, but it is time to spare a thought for the people of Sudan.

The African Union and the Arab League must lead the way in ensuring that peace is achieved in Sudan. It is clear that both leaders of the warring sides have nothing to offer for the progress of this war-torn country. It is time to tell them to quit.

The people of Sudan deserve peace now. They have suffered so much over the years. It is time the international community comes together to ensure the Sudanese have a respite.

 

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