UN says Sudanese army and RSF agreed to negotiations, more mediation initiatives launched
KHARTOUM – May 2, 2023
United Nations Special Representative and Head of the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) Volker Perthes told the Associated Press yesterday that the two parties to the conflict have agreed to send representatives to conduct negotiations that may be held in Saudi Arabia.
Perthes explained that the negotiations will initially focus on establishing a “stable and reliable” ceasefire that will be supervised by “local and international” observers, but he cautioned that the arrangements for holding these talks are still in progress.
On Sunday, the UN announced that Secretary-General António Guterres decided to immediately send his Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, Martin Griffiths, to the region to deal with the deteriorating crisis in Sudan.
The AU-IGAD-UN Trilateral Mechanism has demanded that the armistice be respected. It called on the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) to respect the latest ceasefire and refrain from launching attacks on populated areas, schools, and health facilities.
In a statement, the mechanism said that the ceasefire will pave the way for talks between the two sides in order to reach a permanent cessation of hostilities.
The President of the African Union, Ghazali Osmani, announced that he will launch an initiative to address the situation in Sudan.
During a telephone call with SAF Commander Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, Osmani called for calm and a stop to the escalation.
According to the Sovereignty Council’s media office, the AU chair expressed his hope that the parties in Sudan would accept the AU’s planned initiative.
The vice president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, called El Burhan two days ago and said that his country will continue to support all initiatives to reach a consensual solution.
The UAE is keen for Sudan to get out of its crisis and return to the path of development and stability, Bin Zayed said. The UAE will continue its efforts to support all political initiatives aimed at finding a consensual solution that would spare the brotherly Sudanese people the scourge of war and division.
Internal and local mediation efforts and negotiation initiatives to contain the crisis between the SAF and RSF had essentially come to a halt as the warring parties refuse to communicate.
International parties, including the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Djibouti, Canada, the United States of America, Israel, Turkey, and Ethiopia, have however proposed mediation initiatives.
The World Food Programme (WFP) announced the resumption of its activities in Sudan to provide urgent aid in light of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country.
The programme suspended its work in Sudan after three of its employees were killed and two others were injured in battles on April 16.
Other humanitarian organisations had to suspend their activities as well.